Fife Works for apprentice sparkie Philip

From left: Phillip Heather, Roger Gardiner Bill Banks, Lynne Dunn, John Hutton (Campion), Blaine Rodger, Dougie Herd and Lewis Crichton.
From left: Phillip Heather, Roger Gardiner Bill Banks, Lynne Dunn, John Hutton (Campion), Blaine Rodger, Dougie Herd and Lewis Crichton.

An apprentice sparkie has become the 2000th Fifer to be helped into employment by Kingdom Housing Association’s Fife Works project.

Philip Heather, from Glenrothes, is celebrating landing an electrician apprenticeship with Campion Homes after taking part in a Fife Works course.

Philip was one of 12 participants who underwent two weeks of practical training, including construction skills certification, working at heights, manual handling and asbestos awareness.

Once the candidates had completed all of the practical training, they undertook work experience on one of Kingdom Housing Association’s affordable housing sites across Fife, where they could put the skills they had learned into practice by taking part in a practical work placement.

To secure his place on the academy, Philip attended a recruitment open day with the realisation that gaining a place on the academy might be his last chance at the age of 29 to enter the construction industry.

Philip undertook his work placement with the electrical team at Campion Homes where he impressed staff and was not just offered employment but has recently started with them as an electrical apprentice.

Fife Works supports the delivery of employment and training opportunities, created through community benefit clauses in affordable housing contracts.

Through working in partnership with Campion Homes, they recently delivered a successful Construction Academy to 12 unemployed Fife individuals. As part of its affordable house-building programme, Kingdom partners with its main contractors to support apprenticeships and training opportunities.

In addition to recruiting Philip, Campion offered employment to a further two academy participants. Lewis Crichton (19), from Methil who had completed an Access to Construction Course at Fife College, was recently been appointed to the post of apprentice general building operative.

And Blaine Rodger, a recent school leaver, demonstrated his commitment while on a work placement and started with Campion as another apprentice electrician.

Bill Banks, Kingdom Group chief executive, recently visited the Campion building site, where the new apprentices are working and met with Philip and the other apprentices and presented Philip with a certificate to acknowledge being the 2000th person to secure a job, through the Fife Works project.

Bill said: “Developing housing associations are investing a significant amount of money in the construction of new homes and its really rewarding when you see the added value that can be gained through this investment and the collaborative working with Campion and other contractors, particularly where it provides career opportunities for local people. I would like to wish Philip, Lewis and Blaine all the best with their careers in the construction sector.”

Dougie Herd, Campion Homes managing director, added: “We have worked with Kingdom, as one of their framework contractors for many years and the continuity of work, through a planned programme of projects, provides us with the opportunity to incorporate various community benefits into the capital contracts.

“Over the last few contracts we have successfully helped people with training and placement opportunities on our sites and have created 23 new jobs, including eight new apprenticeships.”

Out of the other participants on the Construction Academy, Fife Works supported a further six into employment with other companies including two who secured other apprenticeship positions.

Into its 10th year of delivery, Fife Works has assisted over 3500 unemployed individuals and supported over 2500 of them to gain vocational qualifications.

Lynne Dunn, co-ordinator of the Fife Works project, said: “Building on the previous successes of Kingdom and its contractors, we are pleased to announce that Fife Works will be running another Construction Academy in November to support the recruitment needs of existing and new affordable housing developments, in particular, the regeneration of Fraser Avenue in Inverkeithing.”