Garnock Valley project jobs boost
Posted on 3 Mar 2021
Work to construct the Upper Garnock Valley Flood Protection Scheme is well underway.
The scheme aims to reduce flood risk to properties in Kilbirnie, Glengarnock and Dalry from the River Garnock, Powergree Burn and Rye Water.
The project is being delivered by contractor McLaughlin & Harvey and is bringing community benefits in line with North Ayrshire Council’s Community Wealth Building Strategy.
Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council and Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building, said: “This project aligns with our aspiration to encourage the creation of fair, green jobs for our communities and is a perfect example of how our Community Wealth Building approach is having a positive impact on the lives of local people.
“The pandemic has been a real threat to jobs, and we will feel the impact that the Covid-19 crisis has had on the economy for some time to come so it is now more important than ever that we continue our commitment to support communities into fair jobs, help our businesses to rebuild, and enhance local wellbeing while tackling climate change.”
For the project, the contractor committed to create new employment opportunities which has seen the creation of five full-time positions with three local residents benefitting from employment.
Adrian Pollock, Contracts Manager at McLaughlin & Harvey, said: “When we began our partnership with North Ayrshire Council, we were passionate about helping them achieve a fantastic outcome that provides wider training and employability opportunities for local people and local neighbourhoods.
“We are wholly committed to developing a local workforce and investing in the lives of local people, schools, colleges, businesses, enterprises and charities.”
Thomas Prendergast, from Ardrossan, has been working on McLaughlin & Harvey’s Kilbirnie site since November 2020 in a facilities management role with Apex. He has been vital in maintaining exemplary hygiene standards during Covid-19, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all staff on-site.
During his time in this role, Thomas excelled and was promoted earlier this month to a General Construction Operative (GCO) and is now working between the main site at Kilbirnie and the site at Mill Park in Dalry.
Thomas said: “I am delighted that the Project Management Team at McLaughlin & Harvey recognised my potential and offered me the GCO opportunity.
“I was made redundant from my previous job due to the pandemic and then I was working on insecure short-term temporary roles, so it is a big relief to have secured longer term employment in a job I love doing.”
Local Kilbirnie resident Garry Irving also felt the impact of Covid-19 and struggled to secure employment full-time before beginning his role as a Security Officer with Portal Security on McLaughlin & Harvey’s site.
He now deals with deliveries, ensures the security of the site offices and plants and conducts temperature checks on all staff and visitors as part of the safety measure against Covid-19.
Garry added: “I have worked previously in security roles, so this job is ideal for me as it is local, suits my skills and experiences and I really enjoy working with the team and the subcontractors.”
A third local resident, Jane, secured employment as a Site Administrator with McLaughlin & Harvey after unfortunately being made redundant from a previous role.
Jane said: “It is a busy, fast-paced role where every day is different. I enjoy the variety involved and the interaction with the Project Management Team and subcontractors. I have always worked in the construction industry in one way or another and have thoroughly enjoyed it and worked with some lovely people.”
North Ayrshire’s Community Wealth Building strategy was launched in May 2020 with the mission to enhance local wealth and the creation of fair jobs and maximising the potential of all our places through working in partnership and businesses.
You can read more about Community Wealth Building and what it means for North Ayrshire on the Council’s website here.