The aim of the Construction Development Partnership DP was to train and employ Sheffield people for the new employment opportunities resulting from a major investment in the infrastructure of the city.
Target Beneficiary Groups
The project worked primarily with disadvantages groups, many of whom were workless. This included women, people with disabilities, people from ethnic minority communities and those who have been long-term unemployed. The project sought to pilot engagement methods to fill the skills gaps identified by the employers.
The purpose of the DP was to use the construction industry as a vehicle to provide real job opportunities to the targeted groups and long term unemployed. Appropriate support and training packages enabling individuals to progress within the industry was provided. The construction industry is a difficult sector in which to secure sustainable employment with training opportunities. Many employers seek staff with the appropriate skills and are not keen or do not have the time and the resources to employ untrained staff. Employers traditionally do not have the resources to look beyond their core business and consider the barriers faced by potential employees. The partnership has provided local employers with the supportive environment required to build their capacity to open up opportunities to non-traditional entrants.
The Employment Unit worked in partnership with Jobcentre Plus (JCP), Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and a community organisation called Jobmatch. The partnership also involved employers. Prospective employees were interviewed by the employer and if accepted, a vocational training plan was agreed with the individual. Individuals were offered a nine month contract and were paid the minimum wage. Some employers topped this up at their discretion. The training on offer was mainly NVQ level 2. The original opportunities were in kitchen and bathroom work, but this has now expanded to other areas.