Community benefits delivered under Glasgow City Council’s Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) has seen main site contractor Morgan Sindall, team up with training provider TIGERS to create a unique opportunity for young people to complete a 26 week training course within a live site environment.
The Sighthill TRA is creating a new neighbourhood in north Glasgow, just 15 minutes’ walk from the city centre and is the largest regeneration project in the UK outside of London. Glasgow City Region City Deal funding of £89.3 million will deliver the Canal and North element of the project which includes new roads and utility networks, and substantial public realm, including new parklands in the 50 hectare site.
In a step change to the way training is usually delivered, a dedicated area of land was set aside within the Sighthill site boundary, creating an innovative practical learning facility for 15 young people (aged 16-24 years) who were otherwise not in education, employment or training (NEETS). The youngsters received training in construction related skills included laying modular paving, setting out kerbs, placing/finishing concrete, health and safety and first aid with other modules in social, nutritional and physical wellbeing.
All trainees attended a work placement with sub-contractors working on the contract, with the aim that an offer of employment would follow. Of the group, 13 went onto successfully secure employment or apprenticeships, with one taken on by Morgan Sindall as a construction apprentice.
The innovative on-site training facility is a first for Scotland and is seen as a unique and innovative way to introduce young people into the construction industry. The first course was a great success and has paved the way for further similar iniatives in development with other contractors on site, with the next phase focused on NEETS and ex-service personnel.
Scott Follis, a young person benefitting from the initiative said: “The opportunity with TIGERS changed my life big-time and impacted who I am as an individual. Before then, I was unemployed and had lost confidence. Following the training, I was taken on by another contractor on site and now have an apprenticeship studying horticulture.”
Both the UK and Scottish Governments are providing the Glasgow City Region local authorities with £500million each in grant funding for the Glasgow City Region City Deal.