Harlow Skills Academy celebrate achievement at awards night

Education: Secondary / Fri 17th Oct 2014 at 12:30pm

FROM scaffolders to bricklayers and roofers to lecturers – around a hundred people turned out to support local apprentices, work experience students, college tutors and employers, as they were honoured at a special celebration event held at Blake’s Golf Club.
Harlow Skills
The awards evening was organised by Harlow Skills Academy, which was set up by Denne and Moat around two and a half years ago to help local residents get into employment or to further their career, by learning new skills and gaining practical work experience in the construction industry.

Denne is part of Bouygues UK, one of the country’s leading construction companies. The contractor recently completed a batch of three mixed-use housing developments in the town on behalf of Moat. The developments – the Aurora site, providing 28 new homes for residents at Clifton Hatch; Minerva, which provides a further 27 new homes at Carters Mead; and The Mews which provided 44 rooms at Station Road – form part of a wider initiative by the council to regenerate the town’s neighbourhoods, as well as provide much-needed housing for local residents.

Over 1,750 people have benefited from the Harlow Skills Academy, based at Carters Mead, which was also supported by Harlow Council. In the space of thirty months, the staff at the academy ran workshops for over 1,000 local school and college students; arranged more than 40 work experience placements and put more than 40 unemployed residents through the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme; funded 30 NVQs for residents, with accredited training for a further 23 people. In addition to helping 24 local residents into long-term employment, the staff also ran an apprenticeship programme and arranged for more than 50 people to attend health and safety courses, as well as over 200 Harlow residents to attend a range of other short courses.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, Debbie Garrard, who heads up the Harlow Skills Academy for Bouygues UK said: “As a responsible business, Bouygues UK was determined to bring more than just good quality homes to Harlow. I am proud, both personally and professionally, of what the team has achieved here at the skills academy.

“The numbers speak for themselves, but the truth is that Harlow Skills Academy wouldn’t have been half as successful without all of the partners including Moat, local employers, charities and Harlow College, to name just a few. The reason it’s been so effective is because of the strong desire and commitment, from all of the partners involved, to support local residents here in Harlow.”

Angie Hooper, Moat’s Senior Business Development Manager, who presented an award on the night, said: “Partnerships like this one with Bouygues UK are vital to organisations like ours with a social purpose.

As the cost of living rises and Government policy impacts on household budgets, it’s more important than ever that we think beyond bricks and mortar. We’re proud that our service offer includes training and employment support like that provided at the Harlow Skills Academy, and the award winners tonight are proof positive that it works.”

The list of winners from the night included:

Work experience student of the year: Connor Sitton

School work experience student of the year: Alfie Hunter at Passmores Academy

Most improved apprentice: Jack Taylor at Norman Gutteridge Limited

Best apprentice: Daniel Burnett at Kingsland Carpentry

Best apprentice supervisor (Gold): Simon Evans at Kingsland Carpentry

Most supportive trade contractor: Contour Roofing

Best construction trainee: Aaron Underwood

Best ambassador: Laura Jephcott at Passmores Academy

Most supportive college tutor: Kevin Luxford at Harlow College

Most supportive site personnel: Darren Easter for Denne/Bouygues UK

Personal achievement award: Robert Sadler, Moat resident

Best school engagement: Potter Street Academy

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