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Unique training initiative ongoing at University of Warwick

17 April 2018

Willmott Dixon and JTL offering opportunities for young people


An exciting and unique training opportunity has been unveiled at the University of Warwick’s Sports Hub construction site, as a result of a partnership between leading contractor, Willmott Dixon, and one of the UK’s leading work-based training providers, JTL.

JTL has been one of the pioneers of the Government’s traineeship programme - a nine to twelve week course with work experience that is designed to prepare young people for employment. It helps them to develop additional skills, making them more employable, and adds evidence of enthusiasm for work to their CV, which will encourage potential employers to give them an opportunity.

JTL has been running traineeship programmes from its training centres in Birmingham and Orpington for the past four years, but the programme in Coventry, at the University of Warwick, is the first one carried out in its entirety on site with a major employer.

The programme will see ten young people from the Coventry area, between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, take part, all of whom are NEETS – young people ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’.

JTL’s Employability Trainer, Natasha Heritage said: “These young people have made it through an interview process with Willmott Dixon and JTL to get here and, whilst it can be pretty daunting, it’s amazing how they find their level and bond as a group and genuinely make the effort to achieve things during their time with us. We have a very impressive track record of getting our trainees through the programme and in to apprenticeships at the end of their course and we’re hoping that these young people will be offered employment opportunities by Willmott Dixon, or other employers, at the end of the programme.”

Whilst Natasha and JTL are behind the training programme, Willmott Dixon has been heavily involved in the initiative. Willmott Dixon’s team will hold various sessions, including some on customer service and health and safety, as well as mentoring the young people. The company, in partnership with some of their supply chain partners, are funding their CSCS cards and a CSCS ‘one day’ site safety training course to enable them to go on to find employment, apprenticeships or become general labourers. The traineeship in general construction will see them work with all trades that can be found on site – including bricklaying, roofing and mechanical and electrical.

Willmott Dixon’s construction manager at University of Warwick, Nick Preedy, said: “This is a ground-breaking traineeship programme in more than one respect! We’d love all ten young people to progress through the programme and come out the other end with a successful outcome and real opportunities for future employment. That is, in the main, down to them and, even just a week in, we can see that some of them are adapting to the situation they find themselves in. Some are finding it more difficult, but we have taken on ten young people who might never have had this opportunity to forge a career. It will take each of them a different amount of time to get to grips with what we do and what is on offer.”

Natasha -Traineeships -2

Natasha Heritage - JTL’s Employability Trainer with a team of young learners on the traineeship programme with JTL and Willmott Dixon

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