West London residential developer EcoWorld London has initiated a pre-employment training programme to invest in the capital and its community.
EcoWorld London launched the programme in November 2020 to provide construction training and qualifications to unemployed residents in Hounslow. The first cohort has now completed training and three trainees have been employed full-time on EcoWorld London’s Kew Bridge project.
In total, 12 participants have completed training, which was delivered by MIT Skills, with an investment from EcoWorld London of £2,000 per trainee. It equips them with the learning certifications needed to work on a construction site.
Following the training, the participants took part in a two-week work placement with EcoWorld London’s sub-contractors on its Kew Bridge site. Upon completing the work placement, three participants were offered full-time employment to work on the Kew Bridge project. The remaining participants are now qualified to seek employment with other contractors at a London Living Wage.
The programme showcases EcoWorld London’s response to the challenges faced by the communities it works alongside. In Hounslow, it is estimated that the number of those unemployed increased from 4,000 last February to 70,000 in the Summer of 2020 – with a further 120,000+ on furlough, mainly owing to the reduced operations at Heathrow Airport.
The next cohort of trainees began the programme in March 2021, and it will run for the duration of the project’s construction.
Nivene Powell, senior community liaison manager at EcoWorld London, said: “We have a huge opportunity in Hounslow with one of our major developments to ensure that we’re contributing to the prosperity of the existing community and combat one of their largest challenges – unemployment.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted communities across the globe and we’ve paid close attention to the specific disturbance it’s caused to residents within the areas we are currently operating. Employment in Hounslow has been hit particularly hard, partly due to the limitations Heathrow Airport faces, and we are proud to be able to provide people of all ages in the borough with skills which will facilitate their employment.”
Timothy Mettis, job broker and construction 106 monitoring officer at the London Brough of Hounslow, said: “I am very happy with EcoWorld London’s pre-employment training scheme and the benefits it affords to our residents.
“This programme provides an invaluable opportunity for Hounslow residents to receive the training needed to enter the construction industry, which might otherwise have unaffordable for someone unemployed, and also get first-hand work experience on the Kew-Bridge project.
“We’ve already seen the positive impact it has had for the programme participants and are confident it will continue to make a difference in the borough.”
Jervis Dias (pictured), a graduate of the programme who is now working as an apprentice electrician on the project, said: “I have always had a passion to train as an electrician working within the construction environment but never had the opportunity to do so.
“I was delighted to have been accepted on the course, it was a very intensive and rewarding experience, and within two weeks, I gained a variety of valuable qualifications. I would really recommend this program to anyone who is unemployed as it has made a real difference to my life.”
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