City Building’s #HelpingHands building new pathways for young people

ygt-talent-taster-400Glasgow construction firm City Building has joined a mentoring project designed to prevent young people in the care system dropping out of school.

The arm’s length agency of Glasgow City Council, which has formed a groundbreaking joint venture with Wheatley Group, will provide guidance and work experience to students aged 12-18 at 15 schools running the Young Glasgow Talent programme.

City Building is also the largest employers of apprentices in Scotland with 350 current apprentices being trained in its academies and on-the-job. Staff at the firm, most of whom were once apprentices themselves, have already volunteered to become mentors in the “talent tasters” programme.

There are more than 1,000 looked-after young people in Glasgow’s secondary schools.

The most disadvantaged are five times more likely to leave school aged 16 or earlier and more than half end go on to unsustainable destinations, often due to instability in their personal lives.

Young Glasgow Talent, a partnership between charity MCR Pathways and the council, aims to fill the void created by the lack of positive adult role models or access to social networks that can be a barrier to work for many looked after children.

It will eventually be extended to all secondary schools in the city.

Iain MacRitchie, social entrepreneur and founder of MCR Pathways, welcomed City Building to the scheme.

“The company has excellent training facilities coupled with a wealth of expertise in the industry,” he said. “This is an excellent opportunity for the young people we support.”

Alan Wade, MCR’s executive director, said: “Too many young people drop out of school by 16 with no real plan of what they are going to do. We encourage and support our young people to keep engaged in education and help them find an area of interest, a skill and talent.

“Mentors build confidence to develop the skills and experiences to set the young people on a career pathway.”

Dr Graham Paterson, executive director at City Building, added: “Partnering with MCR Pathways gives us the opportunity to extend our socially inclusive approach and give even more of Glasgow’s young people the chance to flourish by developing construction careers.

“A number of our staff have already volunteered to become mentors and are looking forward to getting involved. Most of them have been through apprenticeships themselves, and have a great set of life skills that they could pass on to a young person and help them find the right path.”

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