It’s 6am and teenager Brandon Townshend is already up and out the door for work.
While record numbers of young people are still living at home, and many stuck without work and on benefits, 17-year-old Brandon hasn’t looked back since landing a job with a large construction firm.
He found a new start after being recommended to MyGo, the UK’s first employment service for young people aged 16-24, based in Suffolk, by his older brother, who has also found work through the centre.
Despite being out of work for four months, Brandon has a great work ethic, an attribute that has impressed his employers, J Breheny Ltd, a leading civil engineering firm, specialising in highways, infrastructure, rivers and marine and waste management.
But what made all the difference in his interview was that Brandon was able to show he had all the necessary certificates and qualifications to work on a building site – thanks to free service provided by MyGo.
Brandon’s advisor, Tracy Wilson, worked with Brandon to identify his goals, and what he’d need to achieve them. When he talked about working in construction, Tracy arranged for him to take an official Construction Skills course and pass his CITB Health, Safety and Environment test before helping him apply for a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card – a requirement for labourers in the construction industry.
She also contacted employers and sent off Brandon’s CV, and following an interview, he was offered an apprenticeship with J Breheny Ltd., as a Construction Operative, and started work in August 2016.
Brandon said: “When I first went to MyGo, I was prepared to start at the very bottom with a cleaning job. The first place that interviewed me as a cleaner turned me down because of a lack of experience, but I’m glad now that I didn’t get it because that paved the way to my apprenticeship.”
“I worked hard to get the apprenticeship and I’m really enjoying working in construction. I’m learning new skills and feel that it’s helping me build a good career.”
The duties of an Apprentice Construction Operation include putting up storage huts, unloading and storing material and setting up scaffolding, before they might learn ground-working, steel fixing, steel piling andconcreting, working a basic 39 hour week. Starting salary is around £15,000 a year.
Tracy said: “It’s been a pleasure working with Brandon. He had a goal to work in construction and was always keen to work with me to gain his qualifications and employment.”
The number of young adults living with their parents has increased by a quarter since 1996, official figures show, with high house prices and growing youth unemployment forcing many to remain in the family home.
A total of 3.3 million 20- to 34-year-olds lived with their parents in 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics, the highest number since it started keeping records in 1996.