Council house scheme gives job boost to teenager

A scheme to build gold standard energy efficient council homes in Mansfield is giving a local teenager a chance to learn new skills.

The Mansfield District Council development in Saundby Avenue is to construct four two-bedroom homes to a Passivhaus design, which reduces their ecological footprint and results in them needing little energy for heating or cooling.

The project aligns with the council’s green agenda and commitment to lowering carbon emissions and also with the authority’s new procurement commitment to offer job opportunities to local people wherever possible.

Locally-based contractors Robert Woodhead Ltd have now recruited Jachub Read to work on the project as part of the government’s Kickstart scheme after he had no luck finding a job following completion of a construction course.

The 18-year-old from Sutton-in-Ashfield heard about the Kickstart scheme at the Jobcentre and managed to secure a six-month work placement with Robert Woodhead Ltd after an interview.

Kickstart is a new national programme to support young people into employment. The programme aims to help young people build up skills and experience to enable them to find full-time employment.

Executive Mayor of Mansfield Andy Abrahams met Jachub on site to hear how he was getting on. Jachub told him how much he was enjoying the opportunity and would love to be a site manager one day.

Mayor Andy said: “I was most impressed by Jachub. He is already showing he has the drive and determination to reach his long term goal of being a site manager with a lot to offer and positive attitude. Young people like him are our future and just need to be given a chance to prove their capabilities.

“As a council we are very pleased to be supporting opportunities like this as part of the provisions of our new procurement rules. This is exactly what we were hoping it would achieve.”

During the six-month Labourer placement, Jachub main duties include keeping the site tidy and safe.

He will get experience of working with various trades, including loading bricks for bricklayers, and be supported through training and qualifications in asbestos awareness, manual handling, health and safety, working at height and first aid. He will also get support with CV writing and interview techniques.

Robert Woodhead Ltd saw getting involved in Kickstart as an opportunity to give local people a first chance to work in the construction industry.

Jachub is the company’s first Kickstart placement and after six months he and other Kickstart workers will have first-hand construction site experience and be in the best possible position to gain long-term employment.

Tom Woodhead, Business Services Director at Robert Woodhead Ltd, said: “We are pleased to welcome Jachub to the business through the Kickstart scheme. The placement plays an important part in helping us to deliver social and economic value.

“Jachub will be able to gain a great insight into a highly sustainable Passivhaus building project and the wider construction industry.

“We have developed a programme of structured training, combined with practical site experience to provide a valuable learning experience.”
This local employment opportunity is just one of several benefits created by the project through the council’s new procurement policy and contract with Robert Woodhead Ltd.

The project will also support local supply chain companies, involve schoolchildren and community organisations, and reduce carbon emissions through the planting of trees and by recycling a high percentage of construction waste.