Building job possibilities for homeless

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A construction firm working on a major city centre project is offering paid work to homeless people or those at risk of losing their homes.

Wates Construction is using its position as the lead contractor on building numbers 7&8 at Wellington Place, set to house 6,000 government workers, to launch the pilot scheme, which is being backed by MEPC, the developers behind the work and leisure site.

It offers full time, site-based paid work to those in need and has recently taken on its second member under the scheme.

The contractor and housing support service, Engage Leeds, will now continue to work together to make further appointments.

Paul Dodsworth, business unit director at Wates Construction, said: “We are all thrilled with the success of the pilot so far. While it’s rewarding to be supporting such an important cause, this initiative is by no means a selfless act of altruism. Our newest colleagues are here on merit, and we have gained reliable and valuable employees performing a vital service who have quickly become a key part of our team. A lot of people currently struggling to find work just need to be given a chance to show their potential and we look forward to working with Engage Leeds to find further new additions to our team.”

The site team is also volunteering at St George’s Crypt homeless shelter and this summer implemented a ‘pay it forward’ programme in the Crypt canteen, with money donated to buy food vouchers. These were then distributed to homeless people across Leeds, enabling them to enjoy a three-course meal.