Kingdom helps local residents build careers in construction



(from left) James Heard, Campion Homes; Julie Watson, Kingdom Housing Association; Ian McCreadie, Campion Homes

Three Inverkeithing residents are the latest jobseekers to benefit from a Construction Academy organised by Fife Works, Kingdom Housing Association’s employability project.

Lynne Dunn, Kingdom’s Fife Works manager, explained: “We have recently completed our latest construction academy in partnership with Campion Homes, our main contractor for the regeneration development in Fraser Avenue, Inverkeithing. Priority for spaces on the academy was given to local individuals, particularly those from South West Fife and Inverkeithing.”

Three Inverkeithing residents participated in the academy, and two of them, James Heard and Shaun Gillan, successfully completed the construction academy and after a period of work experience with Campion Homes, they have both started employment with them as general labourers. The third local resident has entered into other employment within the industry.

Julie Watson, development manager with Kingdom, recently met with Shaun and James on site and wished them well with their new jobs.

Julie said: “All the participants, who took part in the Construction Academy have been very excited about the prospect of new employment and we are particularly pleased that three of the local Inverkeithing residents are directly benefitting from the programme.”

Shaun, who will be moving in to one of the new homes in Fraser Avenue, is delighted:  “This was a great opportunity to move into construction work and a chance to participate in the work carried out in Fraser Avenue. It was great being part of the team building my new home.”

James added: “The Academy gave me really useful skills and qualifications and I’m really pleased to be in full time employment.”

The academy was part funded by the Scottish Government’s People and Communities Fund, Fife ETC and South East Inverkeithing WRAPP funding.

During 2017/18 the Fife Works has delivered three Construction Academies, with 36 individuals completing training and 27 entering employment within the construction industry.

Kingdom has a relatively large development programme and through the programme the Fife Works team are able to work with developers and contractors to deliver community benefits to provide employment and training opportunities for young people looking to enter the construction sector.

Bill Banks, Group chief executive with Kingdom, commented: “The regeneration project in Inverkeithing is a major project and from the start of the project, we have been trying to fully engage with the local community, to ensure their housing needs and views are reflected in the proposals.

“One of the wider objectives of our development programme is to optimise the community benefits that can be gained from new affordable housing investment and the construction academy is a very good example of how the programme can help young people, who are living in the local community, secure sustainable employment.”

Dougie Herd, Campion’s joint managing director, said: “Campion Homes are delighted with the positive outcomes from the academy which have helped us engage with the local community and create new jobs for local people.”

As part of the construction academy programme, 12 people undertook training and qualifications in manual handling, asbestos awareness, abrasive wheels, IPAF Cherry Picker and Scissor Lift. They also undertook the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) health and safety test and obtained their CSCS card. Work experience, a site visit and employability support was also delivered as part of the academy.

Of the 12 who completed the academy, eight have already moved into work, with the other four receiving support from Fife Works staff assisting them to progress towards employment.



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