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Scotland’s Employability and Training Minister praises Lovell for building youngsters’ construction careers

Scotland’s Employability and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn today (13 September) praised Lovell for helping young people build successful construction careers.

Partnership housing developer Lovell has been awarded the Investors in Young People (IIYP) Gold Accreditation, recognising its outstanding work in employing and training young team members. IIYP is Scotland’s only people management award focusing on employers’ recruitment and retention of young people.

Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn says:

“The Scottish Government has genuine confidence in the positive role that young people play in supporting economic growth. We firmly believe that they are a crucial part of Scotland’s future prosperity.  I am delighted to announce that Scottish Government will continue to support the implementation of the Investors in Young People accolade for employers, with funding of £200,000 for 2016/17.

“Lovell’s Gold Investors in Young People award is a thoroughly deserved accolade, recognising Lovell’s passionate commitment to developing its young workforce and supporting youth employment more generally.”

Mr Hepburn presented Lovell with the IIYP accreditation award during a visit to the company’s offices at the Glasgow Business Park, Baillieston.

Lovell contract manager Allister Duff says: “It’s fantastic that the priority we place on recruiting young people and helping them develop careers with the company has been recognised by the Scottish Government and by the presentation of this leading award.

“Bringing young people into the business and enabling them to flourish is crucial to our continuing success as well as vital for the industry as a whole.  We do everything we can to encourage more young people into construction, equip them with the right skills and provide them with ongoing guidance and support to help them progress and succeed. As a company working on some of Scotland’s most high-profile housing schemes we are able to offer a wide range of experience to our recruits and give them the training they need to develop highly rewarding careers in the industry.”

With the Construction Industry Training Board estimating that over 21,000 new Scottish construction workers are needed by 2020, attracting young people into the industry is integral to Lovell’s work in communities.

The company works closely with schools and colleges inspiring students and raising young people’s awareness of construction careers from an early age. Members of staff act also as construction ambassadors, talking to students and attending school and college careers fairs. In addition, the company organises regular events and activities such as student site visits and work experience placements giving students first-hand experience of working in construction. All young people who join the company are supported through a ‘buddy’ system with coaching and mentoring also forming an important part of the company’s training approach. Young people are supported to gain trade and professional qualifications and are encouraged to keep developing their skills and knowledge throughout their careers.

During his visit, the Minister spoke to young members of the Lovell team including 23-year-old quantity surveyor Kerrie Lee. Kerrie, who lives in Ayr, joined the company following a six-month placement with Lovell during her university quantity surveying degree. “After my placement finished, Lovell employed me part-time while I completed my degree and I then joined the company full-time after graduating in July 2015,” says Kerrie. “It’s been great. I came in without a lot of construction experience but received a huge amount of support and the experience I gained was very helpful with my university work. The company was very accommodating and willing to fit in around my schedule. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without their support.” After originally joining the company in an assistant role, Kerrie has just been promoted to the position of quantity surveyor.

Mr Hepburn also met John Fitzsimmons, who joined Lovell straight from school as a 16-year-old apprentice joiner. With Lovell’s support, the 29-year-old from Glasgow’s East End has gained an impressive string of joinery qualifications – up to advanced level – and an HNC qualification in construction management. John says: “I was at college during the recession and lots of my fellow students were being made redundant, but Lovell kept me on, encouraged me and helped me to keep developing my skills.  I’m now looking at the possibility of moving into site management.”

Commenting on Lovell’s IIYP award, Peter Russian, chief executive of Investors in People Scotland, says: “Congratulations to Lovell on gaining IIYP Gold accreditation. Having supported the organisation since 2004 through Investors in People and IIYP, it’s great to see them flourish, alongside their outstanding commitment to young people. I hope more organisations within the construction industry follow Lovell’s lead, and sharpen their competitive edge by investing in young people.” Lovell is involved with a large number of high-profile Scottish housing projects, including undertaking £67 million of work through West Lothian Council’s new-build social housing programme. Lovell is building at 17 sites across West Lothian, creating 757 new council homes. The company is also building a £6.7 million development of 48 homes for open market sale at Cherry Hill, Larkhall, South Lanarkshire.