The key to success of the DYW strategy is partnership working and here we spotlight this in practice.
When travelling around our region it is highly likely you will have passed a Robertson Construction site. Robertson have a large portfolio of work across the city including the regeneration of Pennywell and Muirhouse Town Centre, the Royal Highland Showground Pavilion and the Raeburn Place Sporting Ground.
Robertson are also a huge supporter of the work we do with young people in the region by offering site visits, work experience and general employability support. One of these employability offers was picked up on our Marketplace platform by Elaine Haldaine, a teacher at James Gillespie’s High School.
Paul Struthers from Robertson’s Community Impact team picked up the enquiry and arranged a site visit to the Royal Highland Showground site for a group of disengaged less-academic boys to witness construction first hand. Paul followed up the site visit with a visit to the school to present employability, work placements and industry pathways.
It was at this point that one of the group, Dee-Jay, began to show a particular interest in the construction industry for the first time. Paul proceeded to mentor Dee-Jay with two further site visits to show him different projects and the various trades/skill sets involved.
Working closely with the school, in order to engage him in activities to run alongside his curricular commitments, he was referred by Paul to Community Renewal where he successfully engaged with employability modules and CSCS card training.
Dee-Jay then attended Action for Children’s Youth-build programme and accessed online sessions during lockdown. He was fast-tracked through recognised vocational pathways and towards work readiness. He excelled in this time and secured a work trial with a local scaffolding company. He impressed during the trial that resulted in him starting full time, permanent work.
This is a fantastic success story but is even more impressive that this was achieved during a global pandemic and the worst recession on record. This is down to continued support of Paul at Robertson, Elaine at James Gillespie’s High School, Sam at Action for Children and of course the dedication of Dee-Jay himself.
“Dee-Jay is care experienced and had a fairly troubled upbringing however his attitude, commitment, cooperation and willingness shone from the start and we believe he has a bright future ahead of him.” Paul Struthers, Community Impact, Robertson
‘Through an alert from DYW Marketplace a site visit was organised to The Royal Highland Centre with Robertson. This visit inspired Dee-Jay to engage collaboratively with Paul from Robertson, me as his teacher and also with outdoor agencies to get an insight into the building industry. He has had a difficult start in life but his head was turned when an opportunity arose for his future. He became more engaged in his education and achieved his National 5 Maths qualification alongside his engagement with Robertson. Through his dedication and commitment Dee-Jay has since been rewarded with full time, permanent employment.” Elaine Haldaine, James Gillespie High School
“Dee-Jay did very well on the programme. His attendance and timekeeping were excellent as well as his attitude and work ethic. We went into lockdown shortly after the course started but he continued remotely and engaged well.
In September one of our employers, a scaffolding company, got in touch and was looking for a young person to join them in the yard. Dee-Jay met with the employer and carried out a two-week work trial. He was successful in the work trial; feedback was excellent, and he was taken onto wages on 12th October 2020.” Sam Barrie, Action for Children