Independent builders merchant Benchmark Building Supplies has launched a pioneering new initiative, designed to introduce unemployed young people from deprived areas into the world of construction.
A series of ‘Construction Roadshows’, taking place across Greater Manchester and Salford, will be offering free two-week practical taster sessions in which young people will have the chance to try out a whole range of building trades including painting, plastering, paving, brickwork and joinery.
The scheme is open to anyone between the ages of 16 – 24 years, provided that they are not already in employment, full time education or training.
Working in partnership with local councils, businesses and local colleges, Benchmark Building Supplies will also be linking the promising youngsters to apprenticeship schemes, college courses or work placements with local employers.
The first roadshows have started to roll out across Greater Manchester, with one of the first taking place in Denton, where over a third of young people aged between 16 and 24 are currently unemployed. Following its success, further events are now planned with the target of getting over 100 young people into jobs, apprenticeships or college courses.
“At Benchmark we are committed to investing in the next generation of builders particularly in the more deprived areas, where we can have a positive impact on the local communities, ” said Benchmark managing director Phill Brown.
“With the employment market being so competitive for young people, many 16 – 24 year olds are looking for an alternative way of getting onto the jobs ladder. This scheme is designed to open up new opportunities to those who need them most.”
Benchmark Building Supplies is involved in a number of youth initiatives, such as apprenticeship training programmes, and has placed over 150 construction related apprentices in the last three years alone.
The company trades from six locations around the M60 Greater Manchester Inner Ring road, with depots in Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, Mossley, Irlam, Romiley and Marple Patio Centre.