A new construction training facility has opened to provide industry professionals in South Wales with the opportunity to upskill with the latest industry qualifications, and allow those looking for a change of career to gain in demand skills that will unlock new job opportunities.
The launch of the Construction Hub Academy in Oakdale, Caerphilly, will provide a range of sought-after industry accredited qualifications and short courses within the demolition and groundworks sector.
The centre has been created in response to growing demand for groundworks staff as the appetite for new construction developments and projects continues to soar. Courses will be made available to individuals as well as to construction businesses who would like to upskill their workforce.
Through a collaboration between industry partners and Coleg y Cymoedd, the facility will train both individuals preparing for their first roles in construction, and those already working within the sector who want to further develop their skills with specialist qualifications.
The centre and its courses are also open to people from other industry sectors who are looking to retrain and switch to careers in construction. With the sector’s demand for skilled talent continuing to grow, the training opportunities could be key for anyone who might have suffered job losses as a result of the pandemic.
To increase access to the courses, the centre is teaming up with Coleg y Cymoedd to roll out the programme. Anyone wanting to enter the groundworks industry, whether they are at the start of their careers or seeking to switch professions and apply their years of experience in a new industry, can apply for a place on their chosen course through the college.
Matt Tucker, Assistant Principal of Business Services at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “Employment opportunities in the construction sector are continuing to rise and we are pleased to be partnering up with the new Construction Hub Academy to facilitate training in this growing area. We welcome anyone who is thinking about a career in construction, whether they’ve just left school or are thinking of a career switch, to get in touch.”
Those joining the academy will be able to work towards a range of industry accredited qualifications and licences, including training to use excavators, dump trucks, forklifts, and other plant machinery associated with building groundworks. Other available courses include cable avoidance training and various health and safety certificates. The centre will also offer bespoke training packages tailored to companies’ individual requirements.
Chris Rosser, Director of Business Development at the Construction Hub Academy said: “Despite growing demand for labour in the groundworks sector, there was a real gap in the market for quality training within this field of construction in Wales. This was something we wanted to address with creation of our bespoke training academy.
“The qualifications we will offer at the academy will benefit a range of people, helping equip those who are new to the industry with the qualifications they need to get started, while also enabling existing professionals in the construction sector to learn new skills that will help them to progress and get further ahead in their careers.”
The new facility has already created five jobs for training instructors, while a further four jobs will be created in the coming months as the centre looks to fill additional training coordinator and business development roles.
Learners can choose to study at the Construction Hub Academy’s facilities in Oakdale or at Coleg y Cymoedd, where instructors from the academy will deliver training on behalf of the college. Alternatively, construction businesses also have the option for training to be delivered on their own sites if they prefer, with instructors able to travel across South Wales.
Dependent on eligibility criteria, government funding is available to individuals and businesses to cover the costs of training.
Chris added: “It is important to us to give back to the local community, supporting people to secure sustainable job opportunities and helping businesses to have access to high quality staff with the right skills and training. We want more businesses to be aware that funding is available to cover the cost of upskilling their employees so there is no outlay for them.
“We are particularly keen to support people who have been in long term unemployment and are actively looking to fill our upcoming roles with this consideration in mind. We also hope that our new courses will be a positive option for anyone who is looking to retrain and upskill in light of the pandemic as there are plenty of job opportunities within the construction sector.”
Looking ahead, the Construction Hub Academy has hopes to develop a long-term apprenticeship scheme with Coleg y Cymoedd, where learners will study courses from the academy and gain on site experience.