First pilot of the ex-offenders project in Wales

The successful delivery of a construction project for the ARC Academy UK Training and Employment Construction Project took place early October in Wales

ARC Academy UK in partnership with Construction Youth Trust hosted a course for ex-offenders at their training centre in Rhondda Cynon Taff. The project was the first pilot of the BAM Nuttall CITB funded “Clean Slate Cymru” project that aims to delineate a clear pathway for ex-offenders into construction training and employment in Wales. 

We were pleased to welcome 9 learners who, despite the significant barriers they faced, such as having to travel a significant distance, all bonded well with the team and had a great enthusiasm for the training.

During the five-day course, participants completed an OCN Health & Safety course, CSCS preparation and an Asbestos Awareness accreditation. The Wallich, Welsh charity that supports homeless people and people with multiple and complex needs, supported the course and delivered a workshop on disclosing criminal offences. On the last day, the team worked with the learners to improve their interview skills and organised live interviews with Laurence Beach from Acorn Recruitment and Mike Little from Morgan Sindall.

The learners were really grateful for the chance to attend the course and thanked the team more than once for investing in them. Their obvious low confidence of the first day did not stop anyone from achieving a huge amount in only five days!

We are excited to hear that all nine students passed their CSCS test and achieved a Health and Safety and Asbestos Awareness accreditation! Additionally, two of the learners have already secured a job with Acorn Recruitment and a family business.


Christine Fitt, Development Manager at ARC Academy, said: "We were privileged to be awarded the Pilot Project for Ex-Offenders into Construction and engaged with Employers within the Industry who understood the barriers and constraints that Ex-offenders face in obtaining employment. Our participants demonstrated commitment to the project and were appreciative in the support and training they were given and subsequent employment opportunities.”


Jemma Bridgeman, Wales Manager at Construction Youth Trust, commented:“We were delighted to award ARC Academy funding through our BAM Nuttall CITB funded Clean Slate Cymru project. The project was a fantastic opportunity to inspire people with convictions, help them gain a CSCS card, a minimum requirement to work on most construction sites, and learn about the careers available to them in the industry.”