Glasgow eco entrepreneur helps city’s unemployed teenagers Unemployed teenagers in Glasgow are now branching out in a more positive direction thanks to a local Tree Surgeon company. Jordan Picken (18) left school with no qualifications and his future looked uncertain.
But thanks to the joint efforts of local employer Jim Casey, and the Local Regeneration Agency, Jordan is now very much on the up. Jim Casey, founder of Casey Tree Care, had been growing frustrated at the number of contracts in Glasgow which were going to companies outside the city. He felt he could harness some local skills and put them to good use to keep the money in the city.
Through the Local Regeneration Agency’s project Skill to Build – which matches employers in the construction industry with suitable candidates and then funds their training – Casey was able to recruit an apprentice.
Picken was then given the chance to undergo training in tree felling, chainsaw handling, aerial rescue, rope harness safety and wood chipping. Casey said “I hate to see anyone out of work, especially young people. I believe if you give people a chance and have faith in them and help them develop, you always get results. I am investing in people who are willing to work hard.”
As well as learning to be green fingered Jordan is learning to be green minded. Casey Tree Care is the UK’s only carbon neutral landscaping company which recycles wood and works closely with eco projects such as the Woodlands Trust and the Bullwood Project which provides free office space and yard space to the company.
Picken said: “ I needed a career. I wasn’t working and I was hanging around with the wrong people. Since doing the Skill to Build training I have constructive purpose to every day as I have a structure I have to stick to. I really enjoy the work.”
Casey is himself a success story of Glasgow Regeneration Agency. When he launched his own business in 2003 Casey received support from one of the business start up advisors and provided funding for his initial start up and he was later introduced to Skill to Build as a way of developing his company. Casey said: “The company wouldn’t be where it is without the Skill to Build team at Glasgow South East Regeneration Agency (GSERA). Their support has been invaluable to us.”
Following his initial training period Picken was able to start full time with the company and continue to develop his skills and experience. ENDS 410 words Notes Skill to Build Skill to Build is funded through Skills Development Scotland and European Social Fund. It is managed by Glasgow South East Regeneration Agency on behalf of the Local Regeneration Agency Network.
Skill to Build is a partnership project between Skills Development Scotland, European Social Fund, the LRA Network and Glasgow Housing Association designed to address skills shortages currently faced by the construction industry, targeting unemployed Glasgow residents. Skill to Build is not an Employment/Recruitment Agency, but an employer led Training for Work Project designed to cater to the employer’s requirements.
Recruitment is done through a rigorous process which includes; information day, assessment, interview and drug and alcohol testing ensuring candidates are suitable to employer’s specification. In addition, if an employer identifies candidates of their own choice, as long as they meet eligibility criteria, they can also access training.
This project aims to deliver a range of specialist construction training, providing opportunities for Glasgow’s unemployed. The training will be delivered to appropriate SVQ levels or industry customised training certification.
Skill to Build have been working in partnership with various main contractors and sub contractors, developing employer led training courses for unemployed people in the Glasgow area over the past five years. The courses are designed to give Candidates the training and certification required to start working within the industry. Courses delivered to date include; Drainage Operative, Wami Tab (waste management higher level), Environmental Operatives, CCTV Operator, Field Operatives, Gas Distribution Assistants, Adult Electrical Apprentices, Adult Apprentice Joiners, Asbestos Remover, Demolition Operative, Personal Track Safety, Flat Roofing, External Wall Insulation, Multi trade, Scaffolding and General Construction Operatives.
The Skill to Build project covers Personal Protection Equipment costs, recruitment, selection and ongoing support throughout the training and aftercare. All trainees remain on Job Centre benefits whilst training.