Building futures in Maidenhead


Jobseekers in Maidenhead have been learning about the varied, rewarding roles a career in construction can offer through delivery partner Wates Construction’s Building Futures initiative. 

16 residents from the local community took part in the two-week, fully accredited, vocational training course for individuals not in education, employment or training which blends hands-on practical training with professional skills and interview technique development.

The tools to succeed

The programme helps participants learn practical skills through a variety of taster sessions. The sessions give an insight into industry trades such as carpentry and plumbing as well as equipping them with vital onsite knowledge of manual handling and asbestos awareness and the opportunity to gain qualifications in traffic marshalling and health and safety. The candidates also complete the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) test in order to gain the necessary paperwork to work on a live building site. 

Best foot forward

In addition to hands-on skills, jobseekers were also given the opportunity to practice and improve their interview techniques, with members of Wates’ supply chain hosting a variety of mock interviews. Candidates used the opportunity to improve their confidence, putting their best foot forward when engaging with prospective employers. At the end of the programme every participant l received a BTEC Level 1 Certificate in Construction to add to their professional portfolio and support their career journey. 

Creating social value and delivering community benefits is an integral part of our frameworks, and it is great to see Wates' Building Futures programme continuing to deliver such positive results. The programme has created vital employment and training opportunities for local people, with 16 candidates from Maidenhead receiving a life-changing opportunity to develop a career in construction.

Victoria Brambini, managing director at Scape Procure

Thinking local

The Building Futures programme is being run in Maidenhead alongside the delivery of a brand-new leisure facility for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. The new centre will replace the 40-year-old Magnet Leisure Centre in Braywick Park with a 10-lane swimming pool, larger training and splash pools, a more spacious sports hall, a 200-station gym and four squash courts. The project will greatly improve accessibility, helping to deliver an inclusive sports and well-being experience for everyone in the community whilst using 70% less energy than the existing facility. 

The Braywick Leisure Centre project was procured via Major Works UK, part of our National Construction framework. Our entire suite of frameworks has been designed to deliver significant levels of local economic engagement, ongoing apprenticeship schemes and extensive community initiatives such as the Building Futures course. The initiative forms part of the wider employment and skills plan for Braywick Leisure Centre which will ensure the project has a tangible economic and social impact beyond the build process.

Launched in 2006, Wates’ Building Futures programme to-date has welcomed more than 1,000 people in more than 100 programmes nationwide. 

At the heart of our ethos is ensuring that our work leaves a lasting legacy and our Building Futures initiative gives us the opportunity to upskill the local community and make a valuable socio-economic contribution. We are committed to delivering significant benefits to people, businesses and community groups in Maidenhead, whilst also creating a start-of-the-art leisure facility for the borough and its residents.

Alec Jackman, business unit director at Wates

Looking to the future

Cllr Samantha Rayner, lead member for culture and communities (inc. customer and business services) said: “We are delighted that a Royal Borough building project has helped ten local young people into employment and will see them work towards a recognised qualification, giving them skills and expertise they can use for years to come.

This scheme is proof that we truly are building a borough for everyone, both physically in terms of a state-of-the-art leisure centre, while also helping our residents build a future for themselves.”

8 of the 16 Building Futures candidates in Maidenhead secured employment by the time they had completed the course and the remaining eight are expecting job offers this week.

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