Construction Partnership helps bridge skills gap for those leaving custody

AI has been working with the Department of Work and Pensions to provide opportunities in the construction industry for those leaving custody in Edinburgh. The first fruits of this initiative has been with Balfour Beatty, lead contractor on the renovation of Edinburgh’s North Bridge.

Phase one of the North Bridge renovation work involved the installation of scaffolding and decking above Waverley station. The subcontractor for this work, Network Scaffolding, was able to offer six opportunities to those who had completed their Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) training in HMP Edinburgh. These opportunities provided a two-week work placement, with the offer of a labouring contract on completion.

Phase two of the renovation work will involve the removal of the paint from the bridge’s steelwork for inspection. This will be carried out by the industrial coating specialist Taziker International. Taziker has already offered two places for people leaving custody, and aims to offer further places if the first placements are completed successfully.

This success builds on previous partnership work with the Scottish Prison Service to reimplement CSCS training and accreditation within HMP Edinburgh.

Links are now being made with other large construction employers who will be carrying out significant developments in the city over the coming years. It is hoped that the sector will be able to offer opportunities to a growing number of AI students in the future.

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