Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland, the leader in the sustainable habitat and construction materials markets, has joined forces with MACS Plasterboard Systems to provide training to inmates at HM Prison Highpoint South, Suffolk.
The Drylining and Plastering Initiative organised by MACS Plasterboard Systems, the leading contractor in the residential sector, will see Saint-Gobain continue its tradition of working with the industry to train individuals wishing to enter the industry, by providing those nearing the end of their sentence with key practical skills.
The training scheme, using materials donated by Saint-Gobain brands British Gypsum and Gibbs & Dandy, will help to address some of the issues that face inmates, including re-offending upon release. To tackle this, the initiative aims to equip prisoners with the skills and confidence that will enable them to compete for jobs in the industry and help to plug the current skills gap.
The first session was completed at the beginning of February, and provided trainees with hands-on experience, as well as practical advice in health and safety, re-entering the workforce, working on site and salary expectations.
Tom McLoughlin, CEO of MACS Plasterboard Systems, said: “We recognise that re-offending can be a problem for newly released inmates, and we hope that this scheme will boost their skills and confidence to help them into promising careers. In partnership with Saint-Gobain, we can help individuals as well as addressing the current skills gap.
“We will also be providing opportunities for the new trainees to join us at MACS Plasterboard following their release, helping them to gain essential experience”.
Shenaaz Chenia, Project Director for Customer & Community Training, from Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland, said: “Saint-Gobain is committed to developing ongoing competence in the industry and by collaborating with companies such as MACS, who are equally committed to skills development, we can feed skills back into the industry and secure the future of the construction sector.
“We hope that these practical sessions will provide a useful springboard for the prisoners, and will help them to find employment within our industry. We will support the long-term skills development and the success of these individuals, providing training to those who remain in the industry through our network of Technical Academies.”
The next training session will take place at the end of February.
To find out more about MACS Plasterboard systems, visit: http://www.macsplasterboards.co.uk, Tweet @MACSLuton