One of the first people to enrol at The University of Manchester’s Construction Academy has secured a full-time position with family-owned property company, Bruntwood.
Previously unemployed, Alvin Bell, joined the unique Construction Academy in 2015 and has since achieved a health and safety qualification and his Construction Skills Certification Scheme card.
In addition, with the academy’s support, Alvin has gained significant work experience, including a two-day internship with Bruntwood, on one of its major developments at Alliance Manchester Business School. Following the success of the internship, Bruntwood was keen to extend the internship to a two-week placement, which then led to him securing a permanent contract with the company on the Alliance Manchester Business School hotel and executive education centre site on Booth Street West.
Since its launch in April 2015, The Construction Academy – developed by The University of Manchester to help unemployed people from across Greater Manchester return to work in construction – has provided support and advice to over 100 clients, through the development of relevant skills and access to the necessary work experience needed to secure both short-term and permanent job roles. The Academy operates via The Works, the employment and skills centre established by the University in partnership with Economic Solutions to support local people to find jobs, develop their skills and access training courses.
With a commitment to embedding itself at the heart of the community and improving the job opportunities and support offered to local residents, the Construction Academy has supported unemployed people back into work within a number of roles at the University and on developments in and around Manchester.
Alvin Bell commented: "The experience I have gained at both the Academy and through my internship has been invaluable in helping me to secure a job with Bruntwood. I’m truly grateful for the support I’ve had to help me secure full time work."
James Blackshaw, Construction Manager for Bruntwood, said: "The University of Manchester Construction Academy was very proactive in supplying someone for the site with very little notice. The impressive quality of work delivered by Alvin transformed a two day placement into a permanent job offer, and we’re thrilled to be able to support him.”
Blackshaw continued: "The Academy has shown a true passion for supporting people in local communities and Alvin is a great example of this. We are very much looking forward to working with the Academy again.”
Steve Grant, Assistant Director of HR at The University of Manchester who leads the programme, commented: "We know that there are thousands of unemployed people across Greater Manchester, just like Alvin, who have a background in construction, that will benefit from the engaging with the Academy.
"Alvin's success story is a brilliant example of our aim of placing people into real, sustained employment on construction projects at the University and elsewhere. Alvin’s achievement is, in no small part, the result of his own determination to get back into work”
During April the university will be working with the Department for Works and Pensions to deliver a series of events as part of ‘Construction Month’. On the 14th, 21st, 26th and 28th April jobseekers and Jobcentre Plus staff will be attending a series of workshops at the university where they will have the opportunity find out more about job opportunities in construction. The events will give unemployed people the opportunity to hear from representatives of the construction industry and to enrol on the academy programme.