Construction Skills Hub is launched

A project aimed at getting more people into construction, training and jobs in Nottingham was launched on the 4th July.

Last year the Government awarded £1million in funding to partners in Nottingham to launch construction academies with Nottingham College.

Partners from Nottingham College, Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham Jobs, Nottingham Futures, Wates Construction and the Woodhead Group launched the Building Skills for Construction project.

The ribbon cutting launch event at the Nottingham Construction Hub welcomed 31 guests including construction employers to discover what support is available. These academies will bring training to construction sites – allowing learners to apply their knowledge in a real-world environment.

All partners are working together to deliver the project, which will support 650 people aged 16 or above who are not currently working in construction by providing them the skills and training that construction employers really need.

The project is part of a national initiative called the Construction Skills Fund (CSF) which is led by CITB and funded by the Department for Education. It aims to increase the number of people trained in construction, tackle the skills shortage and help build the homes and infrastructure England needs. Funding in excess of £20 million has been awarded to 26 projects in England to support the development of construction on-site training hubs.

The Construction Skills Hub in Nottingham is based on a live training environment operated by Wates, who are building the new Nottingham College building. The students in the skills hub over look this new build from their class room and they say that this inspires them to follow their programme of study as they are seeing construction skills in action.

Students on the course will also get to work on other live construction sites across the city. This includes helping to build 20 new homes on in The Meadows on a CCS Ultra-Site with Woodhead Group and Nottingham City Homes.

Courses started at the Construction Skills Hub in June 2019 and the project will run until the end of June 2020.

The training is based around what employers are looking for in new recruits and includes interview skills, health and safety and equipping learners with the qualifications they need to apply for construction jobs.

As well as attending training and work experience in a live construction training environment the project will support learners to achieve ‘site readiness’ to meet the expectations of employers and to enable, wherever possible, for learners to access long-term employment in the construction industry.

A big focus is getting different people from different backgrounds into construction, including women in construction, as well as other groups facing barriers that can be supported through the project and those currently working in industries that are at risk of automation.

Lorraine Gregory, CITB partnership manager, commented: “The Construction Skills Fund offers a real training boost for local projects, and people in Nottingham now have a fantastic opportunity to receive practical, innovative construction training on the Nottingham College site.

“We look forward to seeing how the scheme performs and continuing to provide routes into the construction industry which would have been otherwise unavailable, working towards the 158,000 new skilled workers required by 2022.”

James Whybrow, Nottingham College Vice Principal – Partnerships, Apprenticeships and Enterprise, said: “As one of the largest construction training providers in the Midlands, we have invested significantly in our facilities. Our state-of-the-art Basford campus, with its industry-standard construction workshops, means students are well equipped to enter the world of work.     

“This funding will give hundreds of local people the opportunity to develop their skills on site and secure jobs in construction.

“We are particularly excited that our own City Hub site will be one of the sites to offer this opportunity, meaning our new campus will be educating its first students approximately 12 months before it opens for business. We are looking forward to working with our partners and are excited to officially launch the project today.”

Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Early Years, Education and Employment at Nottingham City Council, said: “This new hub means that Nottingham people will be able to get the best training and skills they need to start in the construction industry.   

“Nottingham Jobs and Nottingham Futures are proud to work with partners to offer people from all backgrounds the chance to get invaluable on-site training. It’s great to finally meet our first students and we hope this will encourage more people to look at training and working in the construction industry.”    

Nick Murphy, Chief Executive at Nottingham City Homes, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into this project, from bidding for funding to seeing our latest recruits start their journey. All partners should be proud of what they achieved and know that we are giving these students a real leg-up into the industry.    

“This project is a great opportunity for local people to work on a live site and work first-hand with developers, like our partners the Woodhead Group on building new homes and transforming neighbourhoods for Nottingham residents”    

The partnership not only works with people wanting to work in construction by getting them access to training through the Hub, but they also want to receive ideas and feedback from construction employers about the type of training they would like to see as part of the Construction Skills Hub.

If employers would also like to offer work experience placement in the construction industry and provide any information about vacancies in construction they should contact the Building Skills for Construction team at buildingskills@nottinghamcollege.ac.uk