A new partnership between North Kent College’s “The Learning Shop” and Clarion Futures (part of Clarion Housing Group) was officially endorsed at a formal ceremony held at SusCon, Dartford, on Friday 26th April by the Mayor of Dartford, Councillor David J Mote.
The construction employability programme has been running since 1996 and was originally conceived to meet the construction needs of Bluewater. This latest scheme, CSCS Construction employability programme, has been running for three years and continues to gain traction and is well received across a wide and varied audience. Launching in 2016 the programme has seen over 300 unemployed job seekers of a variety of ages benefitting from the scheme. The scheme supplies individuals with an IOSH certificate, construction industry training and the important CSCS card which has enabled them to be able to work on construction sites legally and safely. The scheme allows access to multiple job opportunities on sites across Kent.
The latest development is the new partnership with Clarion Futures. This partnership gives added value to the scheme with the addition of industry talks, application advice, mock interviews and access to live vacancies on completion of the training.
Mayor of Dartford, Councillor David Mote, was very keen to endorse the programme, saying: “These initiatives are something we should be seeing more of. It’s been great meeting all these people that have been trained and are passing their qualifications and now going on to find work. It’s great being in a town like Dartford which has grown to be an employment hotspot”.
North Kent College is the only college locally to gain recognition of this type, being commended in the 2018 Social Mobility Awards. The College have continued with an unprecedented high in the amount of businesses and contractors engaging with them and help recruit trained and job ready staff. The Learning Shop has maintained a job outcome success rate of 80% overall, eclipsing any other programme of its kind across Kent, helping to the highlight the incredible achievements they already have within Bluewater for the Hospitality and Retail sectors.
Ben Gay, Learning Shop Manager commented “I always knew there was a need for a programme such as this but never dreamt how well it would be received or how quickly it would grow. So many people have already found ways back into employment as a result of the work we have been doing and that is so rewarding. I have to thank not only Land Securities, who assisted me right at the beginning to get it off the ground and Clarion Futures for their ongoing support, but also all of the businesses engaging with us to give these opportunities to people who have been waiting for that one chance to turn their lives around.”