Based in Islington for more than 30 years, engineering firm Conisbee have worked hard to build strong ties with the local community. It was therefore natural that when they were faced with a skills shortage for Computer Aided Design (CAD) technicians and decided to offer entry-level training opportunities, they wanted to recruit locally.

Why offer entry level jobs?

Tim Attwood, a director at the firm explained that rather than just buying in increasingly expensive technicians whose quality they could not be sure of, ‘we decided we should try and train our own from scratch’. Conisbee contacted Islington’s youth employment team, who went out to local schools to find them a high quality shortlist. ‘Once they’ve carried out their initial training, they start to become increasingly productive and are very good value for money…and we have definitely had a return on our investment’.

What benefits does it bring to individuals?

Having been successful in securing a position, twenty year old Islington resident Ali Gunes is now one year into his job and is studying to become a civil engineer. He is happy in his role, and is certain that he made the right choice. ‘You always hear about people coming out of uni trying to get a job, and they can’t because they don’t have the experience. A degree is not enough anymore, and by doing this you get both at the same time’. Ali is clearly proud of the work that he has already done, having worked on the St Luke’s development in Muswell Hill, and an ongoing project in Brixton to build new housing, a theatre and a school. ‘It makes you feel good because you’re building up the area so that people can benefit’. He wonders aloud about a future working as an engineer on a big project such as Crossrail- ‘That would be really interesting wouldn’t it. Yeah I could see myself doing that sort of thing’.

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We have definitely had a return on our investment