An unemployed young man from the Vale of Clwyd has been given the chance to build a career in the world of construction thanks to a partnership between a leading developer and Denbighshire County Council.
Kieran Rowlands, 23, is spending three months working with fast-growing Brenig Construction on their ground-breaking new environmentally-friendly development on Henllan Street, in Denbigh.
The local firm is building 22 sophisticated new Passivhaus homes at Llwyn Eirin for Denbighshire Housing, the first council house project in the county for over 30 years.
Kieran, from nearby Accar y Forwyn in the town, was taken on by Brenig as part of the Council’s Working Denbighshire Work Start scheme to provide work experience for long-term unemployed and he is impressing the construction team on site.
Site Manager John Breslin, from Llandudno, said: “He has passed every test with flying colours and has earned his Construction Site Certificate which will allow him to work on any site in the country.
“He really come out of his shell and has proved himself to be a very good and valuable member of the team.
“He is very willing and eager to learn and he is such a nice lad and he’s local and it’s great to be able to help someone like him learn the skills which can provide him with a job for life.”
Kieran said: “I was unemployed and was recommended to the Council and came here for a week at first and then earned a three-month contract.
“I’ve passed my CSCS certificate and my other tests first time and I’m hoping to get some training on the digger in the next week and to perhaps get my contract extended here.
“I’ve really enjoyed it and I’ve learned a lot, met a lot of good people and everyone has been really kind and helpful and just so focused on doing the job well.
“It’s really helped me with my confidence and when I told my family that I’d passed the tests they were so happy I had to tell them to calm down.”
The low carbon homes, 18 two-bedroom and 4 four-bedroom semi-detached houses, are being built to the energy-efficient Passivhaus standard as part of the Council’s target to provide 170 new council houses.
The frames and walls have been made off site by Creating Enterprise, a subsidiary of leading North Wales housing association Cartrefi Conwy, using the Beattie Passive Build system and assembled on site.
The Welsh Government has provided funding through its Innovative Housing Programme to enable the Council and Creating Enterprise to work together on this new way of building homes.
The houses have a ground-source heating system powered by nine boreholes, each over 400 feet deep but just a foot wide, and using residual heat deep in the ground to heat the homes to a comfortable 22C and each property will also be fitted with a second source of green energy with solar panels on the roofs.
The paid placement at Brenig Construction was supported by Denbighshire County Council and funded by its Working Denbighshire Work Start project.
Councillor Tony Thomas, Denbighshire’s Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “I am pleased the Council’s Working Denbighshire Work Start scheme has given Kieran the opportunity to work with Brenig Construction to gain this excellent training experience.
“We are continuing to support Kieran to take the next steps in his career journey and with Brenig to offer this opportunity to other individuals interested in looking for a career in construction.
“This project also goes towards the Council’s target to achieve 170 new Council homes by the end of 2022 which we are on target to complete this year.
“Work is being carried out around the county to develop more efficient homes to help lower on-going costs for tenants, which is very important in view of the future rise in energy prices.”
Brenig Construction Joint Managing Director Howard Vaughan said: “We’re very committed to training because people like Kieran and many others with us are the lifeblood of the industry and will be so important as we seek to grow as a company and provide more employment in the future.
“It is also vital that we as a company are involved at the cutting edge of new developments in construction because schemes like this are definitely the housing of the future.
“They use sophisticated insulation and advanced building techniques and materials to cut carbon use and can reduce energy bills to a third or less in homes that are modern, comfortable and pleasant to live in.”