ACD secures two key funders for Transition to Trade


16th February 2021

We are delighted to announce that ACD has secured funding from McLaughin & Harvey, towards 24 places on our programme Transition to Trade.

Born out of 20 years’ experience, Alexander Community Development has developed an innovative programme, which will create a positive pathway for individuals into the construction industry. McLaughlin & Harvey will contribute towards the majority of costs, for 24 places for young people from secondary schools in Dundee, who are in s3-s5. This funding is secured in line with McLaughlin & Harvey’s social obligation clause, in line with the work they are carrying out for the Broughty Ferry Flood Protection Scheme Funding has also been secured from the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (SVRU). The SVRU, which is part of Police Scotland and supported by the Scottish Government, uses a public health approach to reducing violence in the country.

Inspector Catherine Lannen who heads up the unit’s work in Tayside said, “Transition to Trade is a great project which gives young people in Dundee the chance to gain practical skills, work experience and crucially confidence in their own abilities. We are delighted to support Alexander Community Development on this exciting initiative which offers young people a sense of hope for their future opportunities.”

The two pots of funding will significantly reduce the cost of the programme for schools in the city, helping to ensure that those young people who deserve a place, get every chance possible.

Before lockdown, there was approx.. 30,000 16-24 years out of work. This is expected to rise to over 140,000 by the end of 2020. That is 1 in 3 young people out of work. This is where ACD can play a real part in the solution to this problem. CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) analysis has stated that there is a 3% labour shortfall, coupling this with 8% of the construction industry being EU nationals, and a further 37% of the workforce being over 50, there is a huge opportunity for young people to fill this gap.

One of the aims of this programme is to remove some of the barriers that young people frequently face, such as not having the required qualifications, or experiencing challenging home circumstances. Throughout the 6-week programme candidates built their knowledge in general workplace health and safety as well as developing their practical skills in painting and decorating. This led to the candidates gaining qualifications, which will allow them to go directly into employment, but most importantly they gained a sense of achievement.

Throughout the 6-weeks the pupils will undergo training in mindset, confidence, and goal setting, as well as developing the practical skills required to work within the construction industry.

Following this training the pupils will participate in a large scale design and build project, where by working as a part of a team, they will have the opportunity to use their newly developed skills, to revamp a building within their local community. Which will hopefully give them an increased feeling of pride within their community as well as sense of achievement.

The progress of this project will be captured in a portfolio of evidence, which will include the pupils CV, which they will have either created or expanded upon during the employment workshops that take place throughout the programme. The pupils will also participate in mock interviews, to build on the skills required to gain future employment.

‘McLaughlin and Harvey are delighted to be the first main contractor currently working in Dundee to support Alexanders Community Development’s ‘Transition to Trade’ Project. This project offers young people a unique insight into a career in the trades while helping them develop a range of transferrable skills and positive work ethic which future employers will value’.
McLaughlin and Harvey, Civil Engineering Director, Seamus Devlin

If a young person is interested in engaging in the programme, pupils at Dundee Secondary Schools should speak with their DYW coordinator/Skills Development Scotland Coordinator or guidance.

These places will be spilt across 2 programmes, specifically for Dundee pupils. Restrictions allowing, the first programme accessing these places will be just before Summer holidays and the second one upon return.

A follow up webinar will be held for points of contact at the schools on Monday 22nd Feb, via Zoom. A full application form must be submitted to apply for a place.

Alexander Community Development

Alexander Community Development has developed from 20 years of work in the decorating trade, both in practise and education. The sister company of ACD, Alexander Decorators LTD has lead the way in developing skill and talent in the trade, and this work will now be built upon in ACD. Within in this live working environment, there will be programmes delivered for children and young people who are looking to gain qualifications and skills that will gain them future employment opportunities.

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