Inspiring people with convictions in Wales

Recently we delivered a construction course in partnership with Wates Residential South and the Cardiff Living team, one of the pilot projects of the ‘Clean Slate Cymru’ CITB funded BAM Nuttall project, which aims to support people with convictions gain access to employment opportunities in the construction industry.


Eight learners attended the 8-day course, which included a site visit to a Wates Cardiff Living site in Llanrumney, inspirational industry talks and employability skills sessions. The learners also got involved in practical activities, such as building bat boxes, which they then donated to Caerphilly’s Biodiversity team. Another important part of the course to help learners access employment opportunities in the construction industry, was to compete an IOSH Working Safely accreditation, manual handling and CSCS preparation.

All students showed real dedication to the course and six of them gained their CSCS cards. We are delighted to say that following the course, three learners secured employment in the construction industry, with two being offered employment with Wates. We also continue to support others to apply for construction apprenticeships and start their career path in construction.


Luke’s story

One of the learners was Luke, a 17-year-old ex-offender. When we met him, he had low self-confidence, few future prospects and found it hard to believe in himself. As he was looking to leave his past behind and build a better future, he attended our course to gain construction skills as well as knowledge and access employment opportunities in the industry.

Luke showed real dedication and commitment to the course. He worked well with the team and showed respect to other learners. Discussing with older learners about their experiences in prison, taught him life valuable lessons and despite his fear of failure, he gained his CSCS card first time. When Wates invited him to attend an event, he impressed the Churngold Construction team with his employability skills. Luke was over the moon when they immediately offered him an apprenticeship and is now looking forward to start working with the team on a Cardiff Living site.

Kevin Bennett, Head of People Development at BAM Nuttall, said: “The ‘Clean Slate Cymru’ project continues to provide more engaging and diverse methods of tapping into a source of future workforce through ex offender engagement. Wates are one of many employers engaged in making Clean slate work and I must thank them for their continued excellent work.”

Lucy Davies, Community Investment Manager at Wates Group, said: “We were delighted to work with Construction Youth Trust and support a project to improve the pathways into construction employment for people with convictions. Learners enjoyed the day they spent on our construction site in Llanrumney in Cardiff and were really enthusiastic and keen to learn about careers within the construction industry.”

Jemma Bridgeman, Wales Manager at Construction Youth Trust, said: “Through the ‘Clean Slate Cymru’ project we help people with convictions believe in themselves and build a better future into the construction industry and we would like to thank CITB, BAM Nuttall and Wates for their support. We are all so proud of what Luke has already accomplished during only 8 days and we want to wish him the very best for his future.”