Matthew Lemoine, “It’s transformed my confidence”

 

The contractor behind several important building projects in Liverpool has launched a skills academy in the city to equip dozens of local people with qualifications to get jobs in the construction industry.

Willmott Dixon has opened the Building Lives Academy adjacent to its project to build King’s Dock car park, for Liverpool City Council, in Monarch’s Quay with the intention of upskilling vulnerable young people, ex-offenders and individuals on licence from HMP Thorn Cross near Warrington so they can enjoy a career working on the region’s key building projects. 

 

Diversity leaders

It comes as Willmott Dixon featured as the UK’s highest placed company in the FT’s inaugural list of European leaders for workplace diversity and inclusion, coming 3rd out of 700 organisations in the Diversity Leaders table of the most inclusive workplaces, which includes their work with the Building Lives academies.

The company has teamed up with the Liverpool charity Inside Connections Support CIC Inside to provide a training course delivering two weeks of classroom learning followed by two weeks of work experience at Kings Dock Car Park and Liverpool John Moores University construction sites.

Those attending the course will gain Level 1 certificates in Construction Operations and Health and Safety at Work alongside an all-important CSCS card so they can find work within Liverpool’s buoyant construction industry.

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First to find jobs

The first cohort has now completed their training, with every attendee finding full-time employment either with Willmott Dixon or their supply chain.

 

Changing lives

One Building Lives Academy graduate, 31 year-old Matthew Lemoine, who lives in Liverpool and is on probation, said the course has made a real difference, “It’s transformed my confidence. When you’re on the inside you don’t have much confidence, you worry about the stigma you’ll face when you leave prison and that no one will give you an opportunity. This academy is giving people a chance. It really is changing lives.”

John Burton, Inside Connections founder, added: “We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the impact already of the Building Lives Academy. The support we have received from Willmott Dixon and their supply chain partners has been incredible. The desire to offer individuals a second chance is absolutely commendable. In turn, the individuals have grabbed this with both hands and have excelled on site, showing pre-existing skills and gaining knowledge.”

 

Purpose beyond profit

The Building Lives academy is part of Willmott Dixon’s ‘purpose beyond profit’ ethos to play an active role in strengthening the well-being of society.  It also aims to help the construction industry tackle its skills challenge, which was underlined recently when the CITB’s annual Construction Skills Network report recently predicted approximately 168,500 jobs will be created in construction over the next five years to meet demand.

 

Source: This Week in FM.com

 

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