Programme is building careers in construction

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A TOTAL of 40 people have found hands-on work experience this year thanks to a company’s ‘Opening Doors’ programme.

The Scarborough branch of maintenance contractors Willmott Dixon Partnerships is celebrating its first year of the programme, which was launched last summer.

Over the last 12 months the firm has provided 3,739 hours of work experience for 40 people wanting to gain a foothold in the construction industry.

As part of programme Willmott Dixon aims to offer a minimum of ten work experience placements each year to local school and college pupils.

Thomas Haldenby, who is 18 and from Sherburn, has recently undertaken a work placement with Willmott Dixon, working with a team of electricians while studying for a diploma in construction at York College.

He said: “The placement gave me a real insight into the work of an electrician for a large construction company.

“The role was very hands on and a big learning curve for me, but it helped to broaden my knowledge.

“I have learnt a lot from Willmott Dixon that I know I will be able to use in my future employment as an electrician.

“I really enjoyed my time working at Willmott Dixon and felt that they were very welcoming and patient with me when I needed to grasp particular tasks.”

Willmott Dixon Partnerships works with Yorkshire Coast Homes on a £3.2 million contract to repair and maintain 4,500 homes in Scarborough and Whitby.

Managing director Mick Williamson said: “We are investing in the communities in which we work, to create a lasting legacy once contracts have finished.

“We firmly believe that construction students and apprentices are the future of the industry, and our business, and are keen to provide practical hands on experience for students wherever possible.

“In this current economic climate many companies are turning away from vocational learning; however we are committed to recognising the value such investment has for the long term and for the success of our business and ultimately the organisations we are working with.”

Willmott Dixon Partnerships provides support services to more than 100,000 homes, 1,200 public buildings and 50 commercial properties across the UK.