“We had a great head start getting our NSAfC accreditation in place,” says Margaret Milton, Hub South West’s Community Benefits Co-ordinator.
“Our Skills Academy Development Manager, Charlotte McDonnell, previously worked for CITB and knew exactly how to help local businesses manage work placements, apprenticeship programmes, recruitment and training opportunities.
“So when it came to our first project using the client based approach (CBA), the £36.6 million Garnock Community Campus in North Ayrshire, we were able to make a significant difference to the local area.
From strength to strength
“On the back of Garnock, we supported apprenticeships, workshops and seminars, vocational qualification completions, and created jobs, among many other things.
“We ran a 4-week employability programme, particularly aimed at long term unemployed looking to reskill in construction. Delivery partners included: The Armed Forces, JCP, DWP, Ayrshire College, the Tier1 contractor and SME’s
“Since then we have continued to maximise and optimise our contribution towards local regeneration and economic development with 28 other CBA projects.”
Getting people together
“As you might expect from a hub, our main aim is to help link people up – with each other and to whatever support they need,” Margaret says.
“We usually start projects with an on-site advisory day surgery, where we can check contractors have suitable training plans in place, and give advice about embedding any training opportunities, such as apprenticeships.
“The contractors also get to meet training providers and other support agencies, including CITB, so that the support is there, wherever they need it.
“We engage with local schools, colleges and job centres and get them connected with the contractors too.
Programmes and initiatives
“On top of that, we put on a range of programmes and initiatives to sustain that work. Some are tailored to the project, such as workshops and work placement opportunities, while we operate others all the time in parallel.
“Our Building for Growth programme, for example, brings local construction businesses together with our main contractors.