Pioneering CRE8 Initiative delivers opportunities for emerging talent at Wirral Waters Project

Pioneering CRE8 Initiative delivers opportunities for emerging talent at Wirral Waters Project image
CRE8 cohort and GRAHAM colleagues in front of our Wirral Waters project

A GRAHAM initiative continues to support young and disadvantaged people gain long-term sustainable employment through its CRE8 programme – the first wraparound initiative of its kind in the construction industry.

To celebrate the first anniversary of our initial piloted programme in November 2022, we were pleased to deliver the first CRE8 targeted programme this week. Eight care experienced programme delegates joined our Wirral Waters project team to gain site experience. Today marks their final day of placement and they will now be enrolled with Building Careers UK who will help them seek local employment opportunities.

This week's specific targeted programme follows the success of the previous CRE8 programme at Wirral Waters in October which resulted in all seven delegates gaining direct employment opportunities with companies including our supply chain partners Oakleaf, FK Facades as well as neighbouring local employers. The programme facilitates introductions with our valued supply chain partners and their ‘first pick’ of new and enthused local emerging talent.

The CRE8 programme was launched in November 2022 with the first delegates being placed on our Queen’s Road project in Nottingham. We revisited existing and previous pre-employment models and identified where these could be improved to create meaningful and higher success rates for local employment progression and support. A key element of our programme is the inclusion of local recruitment and employability service partners, which enables the CRE8 programme to exceed in its delivery outcomes. This collaboration has been the lynchpin. It ensures completion of the CRE8 programme is the start of our emerging talents’ journey, not the end, which was often the case with previous pre-employment models.

Due to CRE8’s success, we have now started expanding the programme to include wider regional areas. We have formed several regional collaborative partnerships and will continue to expand and share our programme best practices.

Gareth Jones, 14-19 Learning, Skills and Employment Manager at Wirral Council celebrated the programme’s success by saying:

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work in collaboration with GRAHAM on their CRE8 programme. It is wonderful to see their commitment to support our care experienced young people with a targeted programme which helps some of our most disadvantaged young people access employment opportunities and work on one of the most high-profile projects on Wirral”.

Peter Owens, Partnership Director at NLB (Nobody Left Behind) commented:

“We’ve seen our learners gain invaluable experience and many of them have progressed into employment already. It just works!”

Joanne Fisher, Business Manager - Trades and Labour at Building Careers, said:

“We are delighted to be a collaborative partner of GRAHAM’s CRE8 programme. Our recruitment services and commitment play an important role in successfully placing programme delegates into local employment opportunities, ensuring that individuals are supported beyond programme completion”.