In a trailblazing initiative, contractor Willmott Dixon will be combining the collective strength of its Construction and Interiors businesses to deliver a joint social value initiative to create brighter futures for young people in Wolverhampton and tackle youth unemployment.

The 6-week traineeship programme, run through JTL Training during the summer holidays will help kickstart a career in construction for 11 local NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18 years old.

The first four weeks of the programme will focus on employability, with workshops on CV writing, interview tips and mock interviews - as well as functional skills education for those needing additional Maths, English or IT support. The group will also be working towards their Health and Safety Level 1 certificate while earning a CSCS card.

The final two weeks of the course will provide students with work experience on one of Willmott Dixon’s three live sites across Wolverhampton. The students will work with the contractor’s supply chain partners in a trade of their choosing, with the end goal of securing further education, an apprenticeship or full-time employment.

Dan Doyle, operations director at Willmott Dixon Construction explains:

“We’re excited to be collaborating with Willmott Dixon Interiors in an effort to increase our social value in the region. We’re passionate about making a difference and supporting local communities; it’s initiatives like this that are central to our ‘Now or Never’ sustainability strategy. By running this traineeship we can support people who face significant barriers to be in, or on the path to, good careers. By working with local NEET teens, we are offering opportunities to those that need them, while also helping them to become more competent and confident individuals.
“This programme is similar to one we ran earlier this year in Sandwell, Birmingham, with great success – this scheme led to two young people securing full-time careers in the construction industry. Many of the traineeship participants have lived in, or still live in care, so we’re incredibly proud that we’ve been able to offer them this opportunity and support as they start to embark on their journey towards adulthood and independence.”

Phil Crowther, regional director at Willmott Dixon Interiors, said:

“We are looking forward to launching this exciting new JTL traineeship programme in Wolverhampton and partnering with Willmott Dixon Construction. We know just how important it is to play a role in helping local communities through our work, and we are proud to be able to provide the training and upskilling opportunities for local NEET teenagers to enable them to secure a career in construction in the future.”

Michelle Cree, employability trainer at JTL Training, said:

“JTL is pleased to be working alongside Willmott Dixon to offer learners worthwhile and varied work experience on site whilst completing their traineeship. This provides the students with great insight into a range of roles within the construction industry and the skills used, whilst also allowing them to put their new health and safety knowledge to test in a real-life environment.
“Willmott Dixon has spoken to each of the participants to ensure that they are matched with the most suitable site and tasks to enable the learners to progress in the field they are interested in. This is a great opportunity for local learners to develop skills that may help them into employment or further education.”

Willmott Dixon Construction is a well-established local contractor that continues to work on various sites in the region – including current projects such as a £34m housing project for WV Living, which will see 266 new homes built when the project completes in 2022.

As the specialist interior fit-out and refurbishment arm of Willmott Dixon, Interiors has similarly invested in the people of Wolverhampton, the team is currently delivering the refurbishment of Wolverhampton’s Civic Halls and the £3.9m refurbishment of two buildings at the University of Wolverhampton to provide enhanced facilities for film and pharmacy students.