Education secretary Damian Hinds announced 26 initiatives that have won a share of the £22m Construction Skills Fund to train thousands of workers and help tackle skills shortages in the construction industry. The scheme is funded by the Department for Education and is being delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
The Construction Skills Fund is intended to train more than 17,000 people to be job and site-ready by March 2020.
Hinds said: “It is vital that we have a strong workforce post-Brexit. The Construction Skills Fund will ensure more people gain the skills they need to forge a successful career and help create the skilled workers we need to deliver on our housing ambitions.”
He added: To support this drive further we are transforming technical education including introducing a brand new T Level in construction, a high-quality technical qualification which will be rolled out from 2020.”
All the ‘hubs’ will be based at live construction sites so trainees learn in a real-world construction environment and gain the practical skills they need to secure a career in construction.
The winning projects, including Southwark Construction Skills Centre in South London and Liverpool Waters Construction Hub in the North West, have collectively committed to training up over 7,000 people into permanent jobs by the end of the programme.
In Nottingham, its £1m award is led by Nottingham College, along with partners Nottingham City Homes (NCH), Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham City Council, Wates Construction and local construction firm Robert Woodhead. James Whybrow, Nottingham College vice principal - partnerships, apprenticeships and enterprise, said: “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 18 months before it opens for business.”
Nick Murphy, Chief Executive at NCH, said: “On-site training is hugely beneficial, not just for us as employers but for trainees too, as it will help bridge the gap between training and working in the industry, meaning trainees are site-ready sooner. We hope this will encourage more people to look at training and working in the industry.”
The Construction Skills Fund will help inform the design of the National Retraining Scheme, which will be backed by £100m.