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In partnership with the Prince’s Trust

Connect Plus Services and the Prince’s Trust help change young lives with the first ever Get Into Highways Training Programme.

The partnership between Connect Plus Services (CPS) and the Prince’s Trust commenced this year, through the Get Into Highways programme.  In May 2014, CPS rolled out its Get Into Highways Training Programme in collaboration with The Prince’s Trust.

Get Into Highways is an initiative built around Gold Patron Balfour Beatty’s Get Into Construction and has been designed and organised by CPS in consultation with CITB National Construction College at Erith and The Prince’s Trust.

Get Into Highways is a programme for disadvantaged young people aged 18-25 who are job-ready but have a number of barriers that have so far excluded them from employment.

The joint objectives of the programme are for the participants to:

  • learn new skills in a specific area of work and gain qualifications appropriate to the sector
  • get practical experience of work
  • improve their employability skills, including communication, teamwork, and reliability
  • stage a final presentation, in which they say what they have learnt

The Get Into Highways programme was designed and organised by CPS in consultation with the Prince’s Trust. It includes;

  • Induction and Code of Conduct for young people led by The Prince’s Trust
  • Sessions and activities designed to develop young people’s vocational skills to equip them for sustainable work within the industry
  • Sector specific accreditation
  • Work shadowing and placements
  • £1billion cost of youth crime
  • £10million a day are lost in productivity
  • Eleven young people successfully complete with a full suite of qualifications

Highways Agency Chief Executive, Graham Dalton endorsed the programme, saying:

“The Highways Agency aims to be the world’s leading road operator and to deliver this challenging vision we and our contractors need talented people with skills from all parts of the community to come and work with us. We are delighted to support Connect Plus Services on this innovative training programme. I congratulate all those who have taken part.”

Around one in five young people in the UK are not in work, education or training. Youth unemployment costs the UK economy £10 million a day in lost productivity, while youth crime costs £1 billion every year. The Prince’s Trust addresses this by giving practical and financial support to the young people who need it most. It helps develop key skills, confidence and motivation, enabling young people to move into work, education or training.

Our programme offers participants work experience and professional qualifications under the guidance and management of operational colleagues based at three of our depots at Blunts Farm, Swanley and Dartford, joining Incident Support Units, Maintenance Teams and the Mechanical/Electrical/Electronic team based at the Dartford Tunnel.

Through CPS and with support from subcontractors, participants were awarded CSCS Green Construction Skills Card, LISS Green Environment Card and Lantra 12A/B Traffic Management certificate, affording them relevant qualifications to pursue a career in the highways industry.

All 11 young people, aged 18-25 and from the area around Dartford, have been through the 2014 programme and completed it with a full suite of qualifications offered. Three have been offered apprenticeships with CPS and the success of this inaugural programme is testament to the hard work and commitment of the young people concerned who have seized the opportunity with both hands. The remaining eight young people are working with The Prince’s Trust to continue their career paths in employment and training.

The programme culminated in an Award Ceremony at Erith College on 5th June.

Harj Sangha, Princes’ Trust Programme Executive for the Prince’s Trust said:

“These 11 Young People have all worked very hard to successfully complete the programme. We wouldn’t have made this programme work without Connect Plus Services; the managers and operational staff made us feel very welcome. This is the first ever Get Into Highways, and we are doing fantastic work supporting young people.”