Local people to benefit from construction jobs and training at Birmingham city centre development

Local people will have the chance to learn construction skills and gain new jobs at a £67m development in Birmingham city centre, thanks to a new training hub which opened today.

The £100,000 training hub, funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) through its Construction Gateway programme, will offer local people free construction training and a guaranteed job interview after completing a 20-day course.

Led by Galliford Try, the hub will be based at the 3 Arena Central development fronting Chamberlain Square, where work is underway to build 240,000 sq ft of commercial space over 14 floors.

Local people to benefit from construction jobs and training at Birmingham city centre development

L-R Syed Ali, who is on placement with Galliford Try, company operations director David Bowdley, James Junior Hamilton-Jones, who is working for Galliford Try thanks to the Construction Gateway, Cllr Sir Albert Bore, Jermaine Burgher, working for the company thanks to the Construction Gateway, Kirsty Homer, about to start a placement with the company, and Shaun Hall, construction skills project manager at the WMCA

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “We know new opportunities for up to 100,000 trained workers are set to open up in the construction industry over the next ten years.

“Through our Construction Gateway programme, we are equipping local people with the skills that the industry urgently needs to fill these jobs.

“This new training hub in Birmingham will help unemployed people to learn new construction skills for free, get real-world experience and have a guaranteed job interview at the end of their course.”

Opening the hub today, Birmingham city councillor Sir Albert Bore (Ladywood), said: “There is so much construction work happening now to transform the city centre and to prepare for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and it’s crucial that our residents benefit. I’m very pleased that this training hub is helping to give local people new skills for a new career.”

Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council and WMCA portfolio holder for productivity and skills, said: “This training hub will enable local people to learn new skills which are directly put into practice on a live building site – so they gain work experience and site-ready accreditation. It’s great to see residents being given the opportunity to gain experience and qualifications in a growing industry.”

The hub will offer 50 new jobs and a wide range of work placements over the next 12 months.  

David Bowdley, operations director at Galliford Try, said: “Increasing the number of people involved in construction is a vital part of our mission as a business. People are the biggest asset for any construction business and having a diverse workforce only makes that contribution stronger.

“We are delighted to be part of this innovative programme, exposing candidates from all communities to a range of careers in the industry and helping them gain recognised qualifications. We hope that it inspires them to start a new career in construction.”

Joseph Ross, aged 21, from Birmingham, is a graduate site manager at Galliford Try and is based at 3 Arena Central, having completed his construction degree at Birmingham City University.

He said: “Joining Galliford Try’s graduate programme has kickstarted my career. I’ve been given the responsibility to deliver complex tasks from day one, and it’s a great way to learn. There is always someone to answer your questions or share their career story with you.”

The WMCA is working alongside partners at the Birmingham City Council Employment Access Team, Galliford Try, the National Careers Service, the Construction Industry Training Body (CITB), training provider Total Training, Jobcentre Plus and the Department of Work and Pensions, to maximise employment and training opportunities.

Kalpana Patel, regional director, National Careers Service - West Midlands including Staffordshire, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for local residents to learn new skills and access the upcoming opportunities in construction. The National Careers Service provides impartial careers advice and guidance to help individuals make informed decisions so they can take advantage of the new opportunities in this sector.”

Lorraine Gregory, CITB partnership manager for the Midlands and North, said: “We are delighted to support the launch of this training hub in Birmingham, which offers a fantastic opportunity for those wanting to get into the construction industry.

“Projects like this one are vital for bringing people into the industry. With 168,000 skilled construction workers required across the UK by 2022, the opportunities now available in Birmingham are a step towards building the site-ready workforce the construction industry needs.”

To sign up for construction training, contact the National Careers Service West Midlands on 0121 296 5550, or you can find out more information about the National Careers Service via https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/ or by calling 0800 100 900.

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