The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe impact on the UK labour market, causing a sudden rise in unemployment and inactivity. The percentage of the population aged between 16-25 defined as ‘not in education, employment or training’ (NEET) rose dramatically to 14.5% between August and October 2020. In this age range, 597,000 young people were unemployed (up from 11% in the same period in 2019). In response to skills shortages within the construction industry, Build Salford was created. It’s purpose was to align local young residents of Salford with the opportunities that these shortages presented.
Build Salford is a unique traineeship programme for 16-24 year old Salford residents seeking a gateway into an apprenticeship with some of the best local construction companies, including Seddon. The programme has over 20 dedicated industry partners who all have one thing in mind: to create as many opportunities for young people as possible.
Seddon have supported Build Salford with a variety of successful initiatives, including:
Passport to Construction Programme, which allows up to 40 young people to complete their Level 1 Health & Safety qualification and the CSCS Card each year.
Build Salford Traineeship, which is offered annually to 15 outstanding students that have passed their CSCS qualification and excelled during the Build Salford traineeship interview stage. Within the 2022 cohort, three of the students were female and three were from a BAME background, both traditionally under represented groups in the world of construction.
Building for Success, which is a shorter 2-week course offered to applicants from the Build Salford Programme that are not considered apprenticeship ready. The course includes a range of useful qualifications for those wishing to enter the construction sector and also offers further support to those that didn’t pass the CSCS qualification.
Summer Programmes, which offer an introduction into the construction sector to young people leaving school at risk of becoming NEET. This offers a range of activities, including site visits, employability support, the opportunity to try a trade and a visit to a college, with the aim to keep young people engaged over the summer months until they either start an apprenticeship of course at college. The outcomes of the Summer Programmes speak for themselves. For the last two years 100% of the young people involved in the programme have signed up for and sustained construction related courses at college.
Education Industry Work Placements, which were launched following the success of a Seddon pilot project providing college diploma students with vital, hands-on work, site based work experience placements.
Since its inception, almost one hundred young people from Salford have benefitted from the Build Salford programme, with many now in successful careers across the construction sector.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS