Preparation for the world of work

Work placements are an important part of our training programmes helping trainees gain valuable, real-life experience in the construction sector.

As well as providing experience, placements are key in developing contacts and future employment opportunities for trainees.

Our first group of Brick and Blocklaying trainees learning through our Centre for Excellence have completed their work placements. All 23 trainees have been offered the opportunity to sign fixed contracts to continue working with the contractor which is fantastic news.

Our 18 Painting trainees have just completed their placements, with nine being offered employment so far.

We are currently placing our second group of Brick and Blocklaying trainees, as well as Plastering and Rendering trainees. Plastering is a new pilot programme for 2019 and it’s very encouraging that we have already secured a number of placements with three different contractors.

This area of work is led by BII Relationship Manager Clayton Kachamba. As well as setting up all the placements, Clayton undertakes regular monitoring visits catching up with trainees and their supervisors.

He looks at how the trainees are using the skills they have learnt during training, as well as additional skills they are learning on placement. This helps us to continue refining our training to ensure our trainees are ready for the workplace.

Clayton Kachama with Mr Mutemwa from SwissCo Building and Building Contractor

Arranging work placements is complex. Many construction projects bring together a wide range of people, goods, plants and materials making delays common. We have to negotiate projects stopping and starting, sometimes with little notice.

Due to financial constraints some trainees relocate during their placements to be nearer work sites to save money on commuting. Where possible, we try to support trainees to find accommodation to be able to complete their placements.

We have seen an increase in demand and enquiries from contractors which is very encouraging. We have received 89 requests graduate requests from local contractors this year; this is in addition to trainees who have been offered jobs on successful completion of their work placements. All this continues to help more young people build themselves, their families and their communities a brighter future.