Here at Elkins Construction, we are striving to encourage underrepresented people in our local community into careers in the construction industry. That’s why we partnered with Building Pathways in late 2019, to provide work experience and apprenticeship opportunities across all sectors of our business, with a view to offering full-time permanent employment to successful candidates.
Since our partnership was established, we have had a number of success stories. In February 2020, we hosted our first three Building Pathways candidates, two of whom were offered full-time apprenticeships after impressing us during their trial periods. One candidate, Kyle Harris, recently completed his apprenticeship and is now a permanent Elkins employee, working as one of our Multi Traders. The other, Christopher Fearon, completed an initial two weeks of work experience in our Electrics department and is due to finish his apprenticeship very soon.
Not long after Kyle and Chris completed their initial placements, the coronavirus pandemic hit, which unfortunately put a hold on us welcoming any new candidates. Over the next few years, we continued to work with Building Pathways in different ways, delivering several workshops, shining a light on the variety of construction careers, and giving us the opportunity to introduce ourselves to potential new candidates in preparation for the time when restrictions eased.
We’re pleased to now be able to safely offer our work experience and apprenticeship opportunities again and recently welcomed Nicholas O’Kere for a two-week Multi Trade placement. Nicholas joined our Repairs and Maintenance team, carrying out a variety of different jobs so he could gain a well-rounded perspective of what the trade entails. In something of a full circle moment, he has been mentored by Kyle, who came to us through the same scheme three years ago. We also have another new starter from the scheme, Jamal Ali, who will be completing his Level 3 Electrical Apprenticeship with us.
Managing Director of Building Pathways, Philip Mills, said about the partnership: “We want to see resilient communities where young people, regardless of their backgrounds, can flourish through meaningful work. Through its support, work experience, mentoring and apprenticeships, Elkins has helped our candidates learn new skills and gain experience, setting a solid foundation for them to progress to full-time sustainable employment in the construction industry.”
We’re looking forward to seeing Nicholas and Jamal’s progress and supporting them in their future careers, as well as welcoming more candidates through the scheme later in the year.
Watch our Pre-Construction Manager, Julien Dixon’s, online talk for Building Pathways about the construction industry and the career opportunities available within it: