On the 15th January 2016 Ways into Work and Elevate Slough ran an event in partnership with Wilson and Scott to support Young people to explore a career in Road Painting.
The event was an ESF funded and gave young people an opportunity to come and both hear and experience the industry from the professionals.
Ways into Work promoted this event widely and presented to a number of teams that represent some of our more disadvantaged young people. Laura Davis met with the Youth Offending team on the 22nd December to promote the opportunity and two young people were identified. On the 3rd January 2016 Laura Davis arranged to meet the young people and go through the job roles and support required.
Billy was one of the young people identified by his social worker and when we met he was keen to find out more. He lacked confidence and felt that there was little hope for him to get a job with his criminal history. Billy was unable to complete an application form and would need significant support to make it through an interview process.
Billy had a successful work trial on the 10/06/2016 after completing a day with a two-man crew line painting 20mph speed awareness signs on the road in Hounslow, Middlesex.
Billy got totally involved in the day overcoming serious nerves and pushing himself forward to make a great impression. He listened to instructions from the crew and his enthusiasm shone through. He had proved that he had the aptitude but the skills factor would take much longer to achieve. I was there as his job coach to make sure that he arrived on time, 7.15am seems very early when you’ve never had to get up before and you’re nervous about a job and people you’ve never met before. I had met with Billy and his family several times to complete a vocational profile, an open document which compiles both a historical and personal journey of the jobseeker.
Billy’s family were very supportive but Billy himself had no means of contact so all communication had to go through his mother, Joanne. It took a few trips to organise the paperwork, talking about how to introduce himself nicely, dress code etc but Billy wasn’t to be put off.
Billy was offered the position of Apprentice Line Painter on a one-year course. Billy showed on his induction day, one to one with a trainer and myself that although he struggles with academia he is keen to take on information in other formats. By using videos and demonstrating methods Billy took and passed his initial Health and Safety Training Course.
Billy started work on the 22/06/2016, one month before his 18th birthday. Since then he has become a key member of the team at Wilson and Scott. He often has to start before most of us wake up, 6.30am starts are part of the job some days. He is always on time with a smile. He now has his own mobile phone which is essential in the trade, has just received his provisional driving license and cannot wait to get lessons and pass his test. He is also due to take his CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) on the 08/09/2016 which is necessary for him to work on major highways etc. I am also told that Billy is now paying ‘rent’, a 1st. Joanne his mother informs me it’s a sign of his growing confidence, in himself and others. Perfect result!
When I asked Billy for a quote on his future he looked unsure, then he said ‘Do you mean what do I wanna do?’ I smiled and he said’ Be a line painter and earn loads of money like they all do here. And I wanna make my Mum and Dad proud’
Quote from Wilson and Scott:
Liam O’ Dowd – Contracts Manager
Wilson and Scott Highways Limited.
Billy Taylor has now been with the company for 6 months.
It’s not easy joining a specialist road marking company with no previous industry experience, especially when his current work crew have over 22 years’ of experience between them. I would have expected a slower development in terms of the confidence and knowledge required to carry out lining works.
However, Billy’s enthusiasm has consistently helped him to develop and overcome any issues experienced. Praise for Billy’s work has also been received from the lining crew he is currently assisting. It is because of Billy’s enthusiasm and development that the company has decided to proceed with increasing his training and skill set. The company has recently enrolled Billy onto the CSCS – construction skills card scheme, highlighting the confidence we have in his continuous development. This scheme is also a fantastic opportunity for Billy as it will open more doors for future work in all areas of our industry.
Most recent update is that Billy Taylor passed his CSCS test with flying colours as well as theory test, Billy is now on his way to getting a full driving license.
Billy is definitely on ‘the road to success’