A scaffolder has urged other local businesses to give young unemployed people a leg up onto the career ladder by offering them the paid work experience they often desperately need through a Welsh Government-funded scheme.

Alan Kelly and his daughter, Amy, from Anglesey, took on three young men through our local Jobs Growth Wales office in March as they sought to expand their growing family business, MY Scaffolding.

Jobs Growth Wales worked with the local Jobcentre Plus to find the right candidates.

MY Scaffolding then put them through all the necessary health and safety training and gave them experience on site.

Alan and Amy were so pleased with their new recruits that they took them on permanently at the end of the six month programme – and went back to Jobs Growth Wales for another three trainees.

Alan said: “We’ve been in business for 24 years but recently realised there was potential for growth. The Jobcentre suggested we try Jobs Growth Wales when we said we were looking to recruit and train local people.

“We told Jobs Growth Wales what we wanted and they found the candidates for us and helped us with the interview process and paperwork.

“The candidates came to us ready to learn and work and have been continually developing their own skills. They are always willing to put in the extra hours when needed They joined us full time after their training in August and we have just taken another three on through the scheme. It feels like we are all learning from each other and I am really pleased with the way the business is growing. We are building a solid team. I don’t think we could have done it without the help from Jobs Growth Wales.

Under the programme, designed to bridge the skills gap in Wales and ease youth unemployment, participants are paid at least the minimum wage while being trained on the job . Alan said: “It has made recruitment easy and we have had the support of Jobs Growth Wales all the way through the process. But I would also urge other businesses to use Jobs Growth Wales because you are giving young, unemployed people a chance that they might not otherwise have.

“These people want to work, they appreciate the chance they are given and are good, loyal employees.”

Adam Roberts 21 from Valley, one of the three recruits who started in March, first tried catering after leaving school at 16 but did not enjoy it. When he tried to find alternative work, he says he found it very difficult on his own.

Jobs Growth Wales helped him gain confidence and employability skills and put him up for the training at MY Scaffolding.

Adam said: “I always wanted to learn Scaffolding so I was really pleased when I got the job. I learned many skills through Jobs Growth Wales and Alan has put me through more training to get my CSCS card (Construction Skills Certification Scheme, allowing holders to work on construction sites), Asbestos Awareness, Working at Heights and Harnesses.

“I enjoy working to my full potential and as part of a team.”

Daniel Wallis, 20, from Holyhead, said: “At the time I just wanted a job as I was applying for loads and not even getting any responses.

“I had never thought about scaffolding but now I’m really enjoying it and learning something new every day. Hopefully it will take me further.”

Tanya Roberts, Business Development Coach, said: “MY Scaffolding contacted our Colwyn Bay office back in February 2014 because they wanted to grow and develop their business.

“They wanted to take on and train young people from the area as they recognised there was a shortage of trained scaffolders locally. They have increased their workforce from five to 11 through us so they have given six young people skills that will hopefully keep them in work for many years to come.”

Anyone living in Wales aged 16-24, who is not in work, full time education, or enrolled on the Work Programme, can apply for a wide variety of paid work placements through Jobs Growth Wales, which we deliver on behalf of Careers Wales, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government.