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16 young people join Willmott Dixon through Kickstart

On National Careers Week, we reflect on how the kickstart scheme is supporting young people into construction…

As part of our commitment to support people into careers, in 2021, we joined the government-backed Kickstart Scheme. The scheme aims to create new jobs for 16-24-year-olds at risk of long-term unemployment.

The kickstart scheme sees individuals join us for a six-month paid placement. So far, 16 people have joined us, including Reuben and Max in our North region.

Reuben Sullivan is working on our City Campus project in Manchester. He came to us after successfully completing a construction programme for local young people, partly funded by us and delivered in Greater Manchester.

Reuben was a standout candidate on the programme, so we invited him to complete a week of work experience. He impressed everyone on site with his punctuality, motivation, and ability to take working on a big complex site, for the first time, in his stride.

Reuben’s aim is to work in mechanical and electrical services, so we have employed him as a trainee labourer, working closely alongside our M&E contractor, Briggs and Forrester, who are helping him train in electrics.

Reuben said:This opportunity has given me a chance to start a meaningful career. Previously I was a ‘jack of all trades’, moving on from one thing to another, but this experience has given me a clear direction of where I’m going, which is to follow an electric apprenticeship route. The best part has been the amount of support people give you. There is never a time when I don’t know what I'm supposed to be doing or when I have no one to talk to if I'm unsure about something.”

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Max Longden joined us on our Royal School of Manchester project. We met him after he successfully completed a construction programme for care leavers with a local Stockport charity.

He first found out about Willmott Dixon after attending one of our talks on working in construction. Following a week-long work placement, Max was offered the position of trainee labourer. He is due to take his traffic marshalling course and is taking advantage of the online learning available through the kickstart hub.

Max said: “My biggest achievement has been gaining my traffic marshalling certificate, which was not easy! This role has given me experience, new friends and a real purpose and sense of direction. I now have a good routine, I wake up early, I’m more active and it has really helped me mentally. I really enjoy working in my team. It is just the three of us but we work so well together and we help each other to stay happy throughout the day.”

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Both Reuben and Max will remain in employment with us for the total duration of the project.

Our work championing Kickstart and collaborating with our supply chain has resulted in three companies within our supply chain taking on five Kickstarters.

The Kickstart scheme is one way in which we are supporting people into careers in construction. In 2021 alone, we delivered 343 programmes to over 2,900 individuals, to support them with their careers. Supporting people into good careers is a key element of our 2030 sustainability strategy, Now or Never, which includes our commitment to help more than 1,000 people facing significant barriers to work gain access to new career opportunities.

For more information on applications and to apply, head to the Department for Work and Pensions job board and our careers page.


Kickstart Scheme aims to create new jobs for 16-24-year olds at risk of unemployment

Max and Reuben join our business in the North