CONSTRUCTION industry bosses are backing a drive to give young people employment opportunities.
The Hand Picked initiative was set up by Gerard Eadie, head of Fife doors and windows business CR Smith, to give unemployed people a helping hand into a job. Building trade trade firms including FES Ltd, Narvida, Taylor Wimpey and Braisby Roofing have already taken up the cause.
An employer in Fife for more than 40 years, Eadie created Hand Picked as a network of employers prepared to offer three-month paid jobs to 16-24 year olds ready to prove themselves in work.
He said: “Many young people simply don’t have the opportunity, guidance or personal contacts to kick start their careers. They need experience of real work, to learn the skills required to persuade a company to take a chance on them.
“Hand Picked gets employers to give those that never seem to get past an interview a job for three months. At the end, the employer gives them a reference and commits to helping them find their next job.”
Fife firm Braisby Roofing and steel fabrication company Narvida were two of the first to sign up, while Taylor Wimpey and FES Ltd have taken on a couple of Hand Picked candidates and will consider creating more opportunities. All the businesses have found the young people have exceeded their expectations with Braisby Roofing and FES having since offered a full time post to their Hand Picked candidates.
Those who complete the three-month period are provided with a ‘passport’ that includes personal references from the company boss as well as from Eadie and is designed to help the candidates ‘sell’ themselves when applying for subsequent employment, William Braisby, managing director of Dunfermline company Braisby Roofing, took on 19-year-old Kerr MacLean who despite a good college record had struggled even to get interviews. He is now an apprentice roofer and roughcaster.
“We are always inundated with CVs but felt Hand Picked offered a way to give a young person a chance,” said Mr Braisby. “I met Kerr and decided to give him the opportunity. He didn’t disappoint. He did really well and passed his construction skills exams and his driving test during the 12 weeks. I’m very pleased it’s worked out for him and for us.”