An innovative training scheme aimed at solving the skills shortage and getting hard to reach candidates into the construction industry has been recognised as the trade’s best learning and development initiative at the Construction Investing in Talent Awards 2016.

The Kickstart Programme, created by leading housebuilder and community regeneration specialist, Keepmoat, scooped the award at the ceremony held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel in December 2016.

The judges considered the development of the programme, alignment with business goals and objectives, delivery outcomes, design innovation and how the scheme promotes careers in construction before presenting the award to Keepmoat.

Keepmoat recognised the need to increase the appeal of the construction industry for school leavers and to portray construction as a viable route into work for long term unemployed, the homeless, ex-offenders and ex-military; it was therefore crucial to develop a training platform with various training, learning and development avenues.

The Keepmoat Kickstart Initiative provides a training programme that can be tailored to meet specific regional and community requirements and the flexibility of the scheme enables it to form one of, or a mixture of typical development packages; such as a back into work or pre-employment initiatives and pre-apprenticeship or special upskilling training programmes.

CN Investing In Talent Awards 2016

Activities of the scheme are crafted to the participants involved, they include accredited training courses, work experience, CV writing workshops, mock interviews, CSCS qualifications and supervision & guidance from experienced coaches and mentors.

This multi-faceted training scheme has been incredibly successful; 3000+ courses are taken each year, with 159 candidates progressing into apprenticeships alongside the creation of 215 work placements and 51 attendees gaining employment as a direct result of the programme.

One of the many lives improved by the scheme was that of Omar Dunston, who, by working with The NOAH Academy and Keepmoat, was able to transform his life from living on the streets to becoming a qualified labourer, working for Keepmoat, living in a new, rented flat in Bedfordshire.

Omar gained a work placement on Keepmoat’s £22m Marsh Farm estate regeneration project in Luton, where he was able to gain his CSCS qualification, which led to him being offered a full-time labouring position with Mac Plasterboard Systems, one of the companies working in the Marsh Farm supply chain.

Dave Cowell, Learning and Development Manager at Keepmoat, said: “With the construction industry predicted to grow by three per cent in the next three to five years, approximately 224,000 jobs will be created.

“This means the need for businesses to attract, retain and develop current and future employees is as poignant as it has ever been. As the national skills shortage facing the industry continues to be publicised, as a business and responsible contractor, it made practical and logical sense to facilitate programmes to tap into talent which could otherwise be overlooked, resulting in a thriving, diverse family of employees.

“9% of the Keepmoat workforce is currently made up of trainees, apprentices and graduates, and this extensive commitment towards attracting and training talent is vital to the future success of the business. With plans to grow these statistics further, schemes such as Kickstart are vital towards ensuring the skills gap is shortened and Keepmoat can continue to fulfil its vision of building communities and transforming lives.”

All the winners can be seen here.

Find out more about Keepmoat