Construction trainees across Hampshire are benefitting from on the job learning thanks to opportunities provided by Grainger Plc and Churchill Contractors at the Wellesley housing development site as part of CITB’s Construction Skills Fund (CSF).
The Hampshire County Council skills hub was awarded just under £1m through the CSF in October 2018, with the aim of training 650 new entrants into work across Hampshire. To date, the hub has successfully placed 61 candidates into sustained employment.
The hub has seen resounding success since its launch, and offers an opportunity for individuals to become site-ready for a role in construction through a unique training model which is driven by employer engagement and the solid foundations built through partnerships with various training providers.
All trainees undertake a two week training course learning the key skills needed to secure the CSCS card in week one, followed by a week of further, more tailored training such as the Banksman course. Following successful completion of the training, all candidates are invited to meet key employers from across the local area.
The emphasis on employability as an outcome sets the scheme apart from other training courses, by ensuring new talent is presented with the opportunity to begin their career in construction through the support and commitment from local businesses.
Steve Radley, Policy Director of the Construction Industry Training Board, said: “The CSF is dedicated to providing opportunities in construction for those who would have otherwise struggled to enter the industry, but this would not be possible without clear commitment from employers.
“Thanks to the support from Graingers and Churchill Contractors these young construction trainees are now in a position to begin their career and are providing the industry with a much needed boost towards the 168,000 skills workers needed by 2022.”
The Wellesley development a large scale housing development site that will create 3850 new homes in Hampshire. Managed by Grainger and alongside Churchill Contactors, the project has been a keen supporter of the CSF, helping open doors to trainees looking to enter the construction industry.
One such trainee is 18 year old Daniel White, who didn’t have any work experience prior to joining the CSF scheme. Daniel undertook his CSCS card preparation and test, secured a Health and Safety level one and Banksman certificates, and has been working as a Scaffolding Labourer on the Wellesley site with Churchill Contractors since early August.
Nathan Hitchcock, 19, also benefitted from the scheme when he joined the course after working on small labouring jobs in the past. Looking to start a career that had good long term prospects, he also secured a full time job working on the Wellesley development, offering him job security and the chance to further his career with future training and qualifications.
George Hewitt, Director at Churchill Contractors, said: “For years and years we have struggled as a business to fill the skills gap on site and I now believe we have a reliable source of good, hard working and, most importantly, committed young men/women.
“The construction industry has always lacked a connection between the training providers and the larger contractors, I think we may have found a solution that works with our business. I am thoroughly looking forward to building on this relationship and helping these young people get into full time employment.”
Carla Norton, Community Development Manager Grainger Plc, said: “It is so great to see these trainees successfully secure employment here at Wellesley. By working in partnership with Hampshire County Council to deliver the Construction Skills Fund courses on our site, it has enabled local people to secure employment opportunities.”
Delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the £22m CSF is funded by the Department for Education (DfE) with the aim of training more than 13,000 people to be ready for employment in construction by March 2020.
The Construction Skills Fund has been created as part of the Government’s National Retraining Scheme to support innovative ways of training new entrants and retaining adults in the construction sector. The hubs provide life-changing opportunities to start a career in construction, with particular focus on the long-term unemployed, career changers and unrepresented groups.
For more information on the scheme please visit: www.hants.gov.uk/construction-training