Minister pops in as foundations are laid for building new careers

Picture of virtual meeting of new jobs programme

The Minister (centre) and Torbay MP Kevin Foster (top left) on the jobs trail - Credit: Submitted

Jobseekers in the Torbay and South Devon area are being given the opportunity to help the UK build back better thanks to a programme helping them gain qualifications and pursue careers in the construction industry. 

Minister for Employment Mims Davies joined jobseekers from Torbay, Plymouth and Tiverton taking part in the two-week ‘Get Into Construction’ Sector-based Work Academy Programme which is organised by the Department for Work and Pensions, local training provider Eat That Frog CIC, and the Prince’s Trust.  

The programme provides jobseekers aged 16 to 30 the opportunity to lay the foundations of a career in construction by gaining industry qualifications, exploring career options, and meeting virtually with national employers – with a guaranteed interview for a live vacancy.  

It will also give them an opportunity to obtain the Construction Skills Certification Scheme card needed to work in the industry, and take part in mock interviews with local employers Balfour Beatty and Kier Construction.  

The Minister listened in as the participants went through interactive interview preparation training and then spoke to them about their experiences of the programme and their plans for the future. 

Minister Mims Davies said: “It was great to join jobseekers and hear how our SWAPs are helping them explore new careers in the construction sector, and giving them the career start they need to set them up for a better future. 

“This remains a challenging time for jobseekers across the county, but there is hope as we boost the number of SWAPs to 80,000 as part of our Plan for Jobs – helping people unlock their potential and use their skills to thrive in the jobs market as we push to build back better.” 

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Hannah Rendle, Operations Manager at Eat That Frog, added: “We’re seeing excellent outcomes from the SWAP programmes we’re already running with DWP in Construction and Security. They provide a practical and targeted route for people to reskill, engage with employers and get back into work, and we plan to offer other industry areas relevant to local job markets. Working with employers and partners such as the Prince’s Trust is key to getting great outcomes for jobseekers - together, we’ll get the South West economy thriving again.”