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3/2/2012 - Young Cumbrians celebrate starting construction training

12 young people who are out of work will be starting their journey into construction next week as they embark on a 14-week course to build up to potential employment. The press are invited to attend an event where a councillor will be meeting the trainees at Carlisle College on Monday (6th February) at 11am.

The Construction Training Programme is a pilot scheme devised by Cumbria County Council and its partners. It has recruited two more people than originally intended due to high demand. Trainees will attend a course at Carlisle College for up to three days a week and gaining hands-on work experience, assisting with construction projects for the rest of the week. County councillor Tony Markley, cabinet member for economic development, will meet some of the trainees at the event on Monday.

Birse Civil Engineering are one of the companies who have agreed to take on a trainee to help with the construction of the new Northside Bridge, which is funded by Cumbria County Council and is due to open later this year. Other trainees have secured placements at the county council, Riverside Housing, Seddon's and other construction based organisations, including Story Construction.

Throughout the next few months the twelve selected trainees will be mentored and trained in construction disciplines including joinery, brickwork and plastering, as well as health and safety and ICT. Their placement on the variety of sites will allow them to gain real life experience.

The course is free of charge to the trainee and on completion they are guaranteed a job interview for a paid apprenticeship with a local employer, in partnership with CITB/Construction Skills.

Later on in the project, the trainees will undertake some construction work for community organisations, such as on the Scout campsite at Ratlingate.  Any work carried out by trainees will be free of charge and is overseen by construction experts who are part of the steering group. 

Councillor Tony Markley said: "This is a fantastic scheme which could potentially give young people, many of whom have struggled to find work in the past, that all important boost into employment. I'm delighted that the county council made the decision to take on twelve recruits rather than the ten originally planned, as this gives even more young people the opportunity to work.

"I think it is very fitting that one recruit has been selected to work on such an important project as Northside Bridge, and we have shown initiative by using our existing resources to capitalise on the scheme. I wish the trainees the very best of luck and look forward to hearing the results of their efforts in this scheme."

Partnership and cost details:

The overall project cost is around £ 5,000, with a direct contribution from Riverside Housing.

Mentoring and line management will be provided by Rebike. 

Carlisle College will provide the training in their 'Step into Construction' course.

Construction Skills have committed to source Apprenticeship employers for the trainees if they complete the course, further to a successful interview. 

North of England Civic Trust are providing specialist heritage skills training as part of an RDPE funded project in traditional building skills. 

Carlisle City Council will help provide links to community or heritage projects in the district. 

Media enquiries to communications adviser Charlotte Thompson on 01228 226325