Apprenticeship opportunities, skills training and community support are being provided by the contractor working on the new Keynsham Recycling Hub as part of a deal with Bath & North East Somerset Council.
Gardening, litter picking and work with local schools are among the social value activities that staff from Farrans have undertaken as part of a Social Value Delivery Plan.
Farrans developed the plan with the council, setting out how they will work with partners in Keynsham and the wider B&NES area during the construction of the recycling hub to provide employment and training opportunities, support the local economy and engage with educational and community initiatives.
To date staff have worked alongside the council’s Business and Skills Team, Achieve in Bath and Bath College to promote job and apprentice opportunities available on site. This has seen several residents take up roles alongside three apprentices, who will gain experience and develop their skills working on site.
The Farrans staff are also working closely with local schools and colleges to help raise awareness about careers in construction and waste and recycling and the variety of job roles available and to help young people develop their employability and interview skills.
Farrans are delivering their bespoke STEPS to Employment programme for pupils aged 14+ and have been delivered the workshops to pupils at local schools including IKB Academy in Keynsham and Oldfield School in Bath. Future events include interview and communications skills workshops at IKB Academy and CV writing workshops at Oldfield School.
Staff also attended the Careers Fair & Employability Day at Oldfield School in Bath and held mock interview sessions at a follow-on event with the Year 10 pupils to help prepare them for future job searches.
Pupils at Saltford Primary School recently heard about the Keynsham Recycling Hub construction project during their assembly and further engagement activity is planned with the school in the New Year.
Councillor David Wood, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “This is the first time we have worked with a contractor in this way and the Social Value Plan is helping to build on our investment in the Keynsham Recycling Hub. It is creating local jobs while helping to raise the profile of construction and recycling and waste services as a career path for a new generation of school leavers.”
A focus on community engagement has seen the staff provide volunteering support at a litter pick as part of a Community Action Day alongside the Keynsham Wombles and the council’s Clean & Green team and in the Hawthorn Court Care Home gardens.
Glenn Gilmore, Regional Director, Farrans said: “We believe it’s important for Farrans to have a positive impact on the surrounding community during the construction of the Keynsham Recycling Hub and we are working with the council to do this. A strong approach to partnership working will help us to ensure we leave a legacy. Wherever possible we are using local suppliers for crane hire, waste management and equipment hire and we are recruiting locally to fill any job vacancies we have onsite.”
Site visits have proved an opportunity for interested education groups and organisations to witness a live project and in August a group of trainee architects on placement with Bath-based SRA Architects were given a tour of the operational site to understand how the architectural drawings and plans they had viewed offsite were being put into place on the ground. Students from IKB Academy are due to visit site later this month.
To directly support those most in need in the local community, Farrans has set up a foodbank donation point on site which is delivered to Keynsham Foodbank. As well as a range of food and items which the charity stressed were needed, the team raised £240.
You can find out more about the Keynsham Recycling Hub on the council website and sign up to receive email updates on the construction project from Farrans.