Construction training hub set to launch in Wolverhampton

Employment programme Wolves at Work has secured a new £100,000 construction training hub in the city from the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The programme aims to get unemployed residents into work. The new site will be based at WV Living’s The Marches housing development on the site of the former Wednesfield High School.

It will be run in partnership with contractors Willmott Dixon and City of Wolverhampton College.

The funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority came after it announced in November that £2.3m from the Government’s Construction Skills Fund had been unlocked. This fund will go towards Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) for the creation of a series of regional training hubs.

The Marches will see 266 homes developed on site, with the training hub set to start next month.

Richard Lawrence, City of Wolverhampton Council Director of Regeneration, said: “There are billions of pounds of investment on site or in the pipeline in the City of Wolverhampton and it is important residents benefit from this.

“This training hub will give unemployed people in our city a clear route into the booming construction industry, delivering long-lasting benefits to the local community beyond the build phase.

“It will help boost local business and skills, adding to the pace of regeneration in the city while at the same time delivering WV Living homes people will love.”

Simon Liversage, Director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands, added: “At Willmott Dixon, we believe we have a purpose beyond profit and that includes leaving a lasting positive legacy in the areas where we work.

“Over the duration of The Marches project we have committed to investing ten per cent back into the local community, equating to a monetary value of £3.5m, which will see us provide apprenticeships, work experience and NVQs to local people, as well as ensuring at least 80 per cent of local spend and labour is within ten miles of the site.”

The hubs will advertise live job vacancies, which local people can apply for, with the aim that at least 50% of those receiving training secure long-term employment.

Dr Julie Nugent, Director of Productivity and Skills at WMCA, said: “These training hubs will provide on-site training for local people wanting to get great jobs in the construction industry. It’s a great way to link local people to job opportunities created by investment on their doorstep.

“By training in a real working environment, local people can get first-hand experience of what it’s like to work in construction, helping to build real homes for real people in Wolverhampton. We look forward to seeing many people getting great careers through this training.”

Stephen Radley, director of Strategy and Policy at CITB, added: “The hub based at The Marches is an exciting opportunity both for local people to join the industry and for local construction firms who need skilled candidates. The hub aims to give over 800 local people the chance to train in the most needed skills, with a focus on attracting candidates from groups currently underrepresented in construction.

“This project is a step in the right direction to ensure our industry has the highly skilled workforce it needs.”