International engineering and construction group, Costain, has launched an innovative new training programme in partnership with the National Construction College (NCC), Europe’s largest construction training provider, to ensure technical excellence across the whole company and supply chain.
Costain identified that ensuring a consistently high quality of workmanship is key for the ongoing success of the company as well as the construction industry as a whole. The company recognised that the changing nature of the construction industry, which has seen an increasing number of supervisors and engineers reaching management levels with less trade exposure than their predecessors, could potentially affect the level of quality due to a lack of refined skills and practical experience, so approached the NCC to avoid this.
The NCC devised a two year programme of short training courses tailored to meet Costain’s needs. The programme gives employees – including graduate trainees, front line supervisors, site managers, site engineers and package managers – with ‘hands on’ experience of building trades to improve their technical knowledge and help them to appreciate and understand the physical, logistical and workplace environment of the trade operatives. This training also ensures delegates are qualified to inspect work in progress correctly.
Bill Hewlett, Technical Director at Costain, said: “Due to the changing nature of contracting there are less people coming up through the trades. We know that in time this may result in a loss of integral knowledge flowing through to supervisory and management staff. Great managers with a thorough skills background have been a hallmark of the Costain offering. We want to retain this so we are acting now to keep ahead.
“We decided to work with the National Construction College due to its excellent reputation, unrivalled facilities and the range of highly qualified instructors across all disciplines.
“Since the introduction of the training we are already seeing measurable effect from its implementation giving us greater productivity. This helps us achieve more-for-less for our customers – just where we need to be in the present economic climate.”
Neil England, Commercial Manager at the NCC, added: “Costain has been at the forefront of identifying the quality issues that we face in the construction industry and, most significantly, is doing something about it. This training programme adds value to both individual learners, the business as a whole and the customer.
“This is a good example of how construction organisations can benefit from the expertise and facilities which are unique to the National Construction College. This bespoke service is one which we want to develop with other organisations who wish to ‘train out’ costly gaps in knowledge.”