Unique initiative to help careers in construction industry in Harlow

Business / Wed 9th Aug 2017 at 03:37pm

A NEW and unique initiative, with a mission to help people make a career in the construction industry, has been launched in Harlow. The new company, CWOATA Ltd, will not only be of interest to anyone looking to learn a construction trade, but it will also be of major interest to local construction companies looking for high-quality, motivated trainees.


CWOATA stands for Construction Workforce Operative And Trainee Assessment. The company specialises in Pre-Employment Assessment of candidates wanting to make a career in the construction industry. This assessment takes the form of a 5-day course at CWOATA’s unit in Burnt Mill, Harlow, during which candidates are exposed to a broad range of typical on-site tasks. The course is not intended to train candidates in a trade, but to allow them to ‘get a feel’ for the on-site environment, and decide whether construction is for them. At the same time, the course allows experienced construction professionals to assess candidates for basic employability skills, such as attitude and motivation. Candidates who successfully complete the course (which is not guaranteed) are then employed by CWOATA, and offered to construction companies as trainees.

CWOATA’s 5-day Pre-Employment Assessment Training (PEAT) course is open to men and women of all ages, and applicants need no qualifications or experience of the construction industry. The course is free to candidates under most circumstances. After successful completion of the PEAT course, candidates are guaranteed a job which leads to the opportunity to qualify in a trade (to NVQ standard, usually via OSAT – On Site Assessment and Training). All CWOATA employees start with earnings significantly higher than the minimum wage, and enjoy benefits such as SSP (Statutory Sick Pay), holiday pay and automatic union membership (Unite the Union).

Because CWOATA’s candidates have proven employability skills, and are keen to learn and progress, they will be of interest to local construction companies who often struggle to find recruits of sufficient quality. The employability of these candidates is further enhanced by the fact that CWOATA is a completely independent operation, and is therefore free to construct its PEAT course to meet the needs of industry. Many construction companies have expressed an interest in working closely with CWOATA, and the company is already working with the Prison Service Careers Initiative.

“It has been clear for some time that the quality needs of industry just aren’t being met right now,” said Ricky Harrison, Founder and CEO of CWOATA, “and this radically new approach has been designed to address those needs. We’ve had a huge and positive response from the industry, and we fully expect to roll our Harlow model out across the UK very quickly.”

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