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As part of its ongoing energy efficiency works in Rhyl, SBS has engaged with North Wales Training to provide work experience opportunities for local residents. The initiative has already supported 10 individuals and has helped a number of them to secure lasting employment.

We have a long track record of working in North Wales and currently have a place on Denbighshire County Council’s External Major Repairs framework. In keeping with our long-term commitment to the region, SBS teams and their supply chain partners have been creating opportunities for local people to develop skills and experience in the construction industry.

“The scheme has been really positive,” notes Rhodri Owen, SBS’s assistant site manager. “We’ve had ten long-term unemployed people here on work experience and five of those have already managed to secure employment with our supply chain partners. They started work on site on 14th March.

“In addition, we have directly employed another person who came to us via North Wales Training. All the individuals are local to the area – our new labourer, for example, is a five-minute walk away from site – so these are developments that are undoubtedly having a positive impact on the local community.

“Our supply chain partners have really committed to this as well. In addition to the individuals on the North Wales Training scheme, our subcontractors have created additional permanent jobs for three formerly unemployed people who live on the street where we’re currently working.”

The support has been a multi-agency initiative. Procure Plus funded the course and will be funding the trainees’ CSCS cards, while Denbighshire County Council helped to coordinate the course and provided PPE, including boots, for all participants.

The work experience initiative is part of a wider, ongoing commitment by SBS to boost local people’s employability, skills and opportunities. Another example was the jobs fair that we supported in November last year. (See article.)

Partnerships with local agencies have been invaluable, as is shown by our engagement with North Wales Training. The organisation’s mission is “to help people gain skills and qualifications for employability, so that they are equipped for productive, sustainable and fulfilling employment in a modern economy.” In addition to supporting work experience placements, it also offers a range of courses including apprenticeship training for employers’ new and existing staff.

Speaking on behalf of the organisation, Employment Facilitator Emma Pugh said: ‘’This programme has been fantastic for local people, providing them the opportunity to gain on-site construction experience along with certified training courses, which look great on their CV! It has been a pleasure working with the group over the last couple of weeks and I very much look forward to seeing them complete the next phase of their training and commencing their employment. It’s been great to see the individuals who accessed the programme succeed, and really excel when they got onto the site. Well done to all involved!”

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