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100th local person into employment and new trade apprentices join Library of Birmingham construction team

Library of Birmingham labourer, Leon Carbado, the 100th person supported into work on the project by the City Council’s Employment Access Team, was honoured at a celebratory event at the Library of Birmingham site in July 2011. He was joined at the celebration by six newly appointed apprentices from EMCOR.

Leon, 39, who impressed the Library of Birmingham team during two weeks of work experience in March 2011, signed up to the City Council’s Employment Access Team after the placement. He took part in the Employment Access Team’s recruitment process and was invited to interview for a labourer role on the site. Following a competitive recruitment process, Leon was successful in getting the job.

At the event, six new apprentices who started work at the engineering services company, EMCOR, earlier this month were formally welcomed into the organisation. Each will join EMCOR as a craft apprentice and train as an electrician, plumber or pipe fitter. They will attend college on day release to study for a formal qualification. For the rest of the week they will be based on one of EMCOR’s sites in the Midlands area, including the Library of Birmingham.

Councillor Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council, said: “It is fantastic to see that the Library of Birmingham development continues to create jobs and we are delighted to welcome Leon and the apprentices to their new roles. Right at the start of the Library of Birmingham project the City Council set out clear employment and training targets and we are pleased to see these goals being delivered successfully.”

The apprentices were appointed following a recruitment drive led by EMCOR and the Employment Access Team which received over 420 applications for the six places. Following a Craft Apprenticeship Awareness Day at the end of February 2011, 12 candidates were chosen to go forward to EMCOR’s training provider for literacy and numeracy tests and eight were selected for interview. The six new craft apprentices are:

• Josh Bassi – a stage one Electrical Apprentice from Hall Green who has just finished his A-levels and chose the apprenticeship route rather than university

• Jack Beard – a first year Plumbing Apprentice from Acocks Green working at the Library of Birmingham site who was previously working as an office cleaner

• Liam Johnson – a stage one Electrical Apprentice from Castle Vale; this will be Liam’s first full time job since finishing school in June 2010

• Peter Kain – a first year Plumbing Apprentice from Acocks Green who had been working at a newsagents since leaving school. He had previously applied for other apprenticeship schemes but not been successful until now

• Peter Madden - a stage one Electrical Apprentice from Kingstanding who had not been working since September 2010 when he attended the Craft Apprenticeship Awareness Day

• Jack Pugh – a stage one Electrical Apprentice from Northfield who had been doing a maintenance apprenticeship since November 2010; the company he worked for was not giving him the support and structure he needed to progress in his career

Speaking at the event Neil Greensill, Regional Director at EMCOR, said: “When we commenced working on the Library of Birmingham, we engaged with Birmingham City Council’s Employment Access Team and Carillion to plan how to deliver on the challenging targets set for employment and training. So far the calibre of candidates recruited has been of a very high standard and we have every hope that the six craft apprentices will go on to become part of our skilled labour force in the future.”

Sinead Mackenzie, Employment and Training Manager at Carillion, added: “Our target is to get 250 local people back into work and 25 apprentice starts. Working closely with the Employment Access Team we are proud to be celebrating our 100th person, and the six apprentice starts with EMCOR. We believe that getting people into work is just the start, on site we are working with the National Construction College and Birmingham Metropolitan College to deliver NVQs and skills for life training to ensure that individuals are given the tools they need to remain in work and to progress. In addition, we are supporting a number of schemes including Business Action on Homelessness’ through which Leon completed a two week voluntary placement on the project prior to gaining an interview and securing his role with Titan Ceilings”.

At the celebration event, Leon was awarded with a certificate in recognition of being the 100th person supported into work on the project. The new apprentices also took part in a presentation by EMCOR to celebrate the creation of the apprenticeships.

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