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New construction skills hub opens in Leicester

Published on Friday, February 11, 2022

Picture from launch event

A NEW training hub to help people build a career in the construction industry has launched in Leicester.

The Construction Skills Hub is located in former site offices at the heart of the Ashton Green regeneration project in the north of Leicester.

Supported by £518,000 of funding from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the new hub will provide training and employment opportunities for people in Leicester and Leicestershire who are looking to work in the construction industry.

The project is being led by Leicester City Council – which is contributing £300,000 of capital funding – and aims to offer training in construction skills to more than 400 people over two years, with a goal of securing sustained employment for at least half of those taking part.

Delivery partner Futures, which specialises in employability for 18 to 25-year-olds, is also contributing £107,000 to the project. The training programme will be delivered by local companies Construct Training and Keith Cook Training.

The project will work closely with construction partners at the Ashton Green development site, where hundreds of new homes are being built, and at the new prison under construction at Glen Parva. It will also help support the delivery of new homes at Waterside and the city council’s plans to for major investment in new council houses.

Cllr Danny Myers, assistant city mayor for jobs and skills, said: “We already have a proven track record of working with local employers, helping hundreds of people into jobs or apprenticeships through the work of our Leicester Employment Hub.

“Now, thanks to generous support from the CITB, we can offer onsite training and opportunities for people looking to move into the construction industry. This will be located at the heart of major construction and development projects, offering people hands-on experience and specially tailored training from professionals.

“With a huge amount of major transformative construction projects potentially happening in Leicester over the next few years – including the transformation of our railway station, a major multi-million-pound revamp of Leicester’s hospitals, the planned expansion of the King Power Stadium and an ambitious programme of new house building across the city – it’s vital that local people have an opportunity to train up and benefit from this new investment.

“By equipping local people with the right skills and qualifications for future employment, we will continue to encourage further investment into the city and help our local economy to grow.”

CITB’s Strategy and Policy Director, Steve Radley said: “It is great news that the Leicester hub is open for business.  Onsite experience hubs like this one, go a long way to help close the skills gap we are seeing in the industry right now.

“The Leicester hub will give people invaluable practical construction experience and the site-ready qualifications local employers need. This really will provide a one-stop recruitment solution for construction employers.”

The Leicester Employment Hub has already supported over 40 people into work and training in the construction industry, but this is the first time it will have its own one stop shop for advice and training.

Simon Pipkin of Leicestershire-based RJH Building Construction Ltd, said: “This scheme has been incredibly beneficial to RJH.

“The construction skills hub team has an understanding of our business needs and can fulfil those needs by sending us appropriate applicants that fit with us.’

“We’ve given a start to five local people from the construction skills hub so far. Three of those have since joined our company long-term, through on-the-job training or an apprenticeship, and we expect to have openings for more in 2022.”

If you are an employer in the construction industry and considering recruiting new employees, the Construction Skills Hub can provide you with site-ready candidates with some industry related skills and a CSCS Card. Candidates will have successfully completed a tailored training programme and are available for trial on site in the hope of then gaining employment in the construction industry. To find out more contact employmenthub@leicester.gov.uk

For people interested in a career in construction – whether new or returning to the industry - the Construction Skills Hub offers a free entry programme into the sector. You will gain industry-related skills to support you to become site-ready before undertaking a work trial with a local employer. To register your interest email constructionhub@futuresforyou.com

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Picture caption: (from left) Assistant city mayor Cllr Danny Myers, Peter Chandler (Leicester City Council head of economic regeneration), Richard Thorpe (Construction Skills Hub manager, LCC), Jo Ives (LCC), Kelvin Goode (Construct Training Services Ltd), George Walton (Keith Cook Training) Graham Dawson (Careers Adviser), Tracey Waterfield (Leicester Employment Hub), Rohan Cheriyan (CiTB)