Local people are being urged to join an online careers fair to find out more about thousands of new jobs in construction coming to the region as major infrastructure projects get underway.
The West Midlands Combined Authority is holding the ‘Careers in Construction’ event as it steps up action to drive the region’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by equipping local people with the skills they need to land jobs in growth sectors.
Taking place on Thursday 8 October, the event will feature employers recruiting for flagship schemes such as the construction of HS2, talking about the variety of jobs in the sector and how to apply.
Employers will bring a range of roles to the event, including general labourers, ground workers, delivery access managers, carpenters and steel fixers with pay ranging from just over £11 to £17 per hour.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, who will be opening the event, said: “We know sadly that a number of people have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, whilst many more who are still in work are feeling uncertain about their future. Our economic recovery plan therefore is based around protecting existing jobs and helping those who have fallen out of work by creating new jobs.
“Large-scale construction projects like HS2, our extension of the West Midlands Metro, and the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital, alongside our multi-million pound investment to remediate derelict brownfield land across the region to become new homes and businesses, will help do exactly that.
“We think there could be up to 100,000 opportunities in the region’s construction industry over the next decade, and it is critical these jobs are filled locally. That is why we are equipping local people with the skills they need to take advantage of these opportunities through the Construction Gateway programme.
“I would urge anyone who is looking to start a new career in construction to register now for our careers fair and hear directly from employers about how to access the job opportunities that are coming to the West Midlands.”
The careers fair is split into two sessions. The first, which runs from 10-11am, will showcase jobs that are available now through HS2 and with construction firms Lendlease, VGC Group, Danny Sullivan and Lynch Plant Hire. To book your place, visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6764485115297908495
In the second session, which runs from 11am-12noon, local people will be able to find out about apprenticeships in construction from employers including BAM Nuttall, Balfour Beatty Vinci, Flannery Plant Hire and McAuliffe Group. To book your place, visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/789546515541270286
Ciara Pryce, group services manager at VGC Group, said: “We are delighted to be taking part in Careers in Construction, and look forward to telling people about the wide range of job opportunities we have in the area.
“At previous jobs fairs we have discovered excellent candidates who are now working for VGC on road and rail projects; they’re finding that construction offers excellent prospects for a long-term career in this exciting industry.”
Paul Skitt, skills development director at Flannery Plant Hire, added: “We are pleased to be supporting Careers in Construction. We will highlight the new construction plant operative apprenticeship that we've developed and the opportunities this brings for a great future.”
The West Midlands Combined Authority is equipping unemployed local people with the skills they need to start a new career in construction through its Construction Gateway programme.
The intensive short training courses give learners the ‘tickets’ to work on site, a guaranteed job interview and valuable qualifications for future careers in the sector.
Over the past two years, more than 2,000 people have been trained through this programme, with over 50 per cent moving into jobs as a result.
For more information, talk to your local Jobcentre or visit https://beta.wmca.org.uk/in-my-area/projects/construction-gateway-in-the-west-midlands/