Garry Sambrook, MP for Northfield visited Construction College Midlands (CCM) to experience first-hand how businesses have been topping up workforce skills throughout the pandemic. He also heard about a new initiative that sees employers coming together with local jobseekers in a bid to successfully fill vacancies.
The Kings Norton-based site, which is part of Walsall College welcomed the MP into workshops and facilities for apprentices and work-based learners gaining qualifications in scaffolding, street works, roofing, groundworks and property maintenance.
With scaffolding seen as a safety critical industry, CCM has delivered a suite of scaffolding (CISRS) training programmes throughout the year so far, in order for construction and redevelopment projects to stay on schedule. Apprentices and trainees on roofing, scaffolding and other construction-based programmes have also kept up their learning.
John Adams of Construction College Midlands said: “CCM has been adapting our delivery model in line with Covid restrictions so that businesses can meet critical skills needs and fulfil key contracts. The team here were proud to show Garry Sambrook how this has been achieved without compromising on the quality of our provision.
He continued: “We were also pleased to share our plans for an employer-led programme that trains jobseekers in more specialist, ‘hard to recruit’ areas of the sector.
Partnerships with agencies in the region and with businesses in groundworks, scaffolding and roofing have been developed in readiness and we are confident of their potential to benefit this sector and wider communities long term.”
The sector work academy programme (SWAP) for jobseekers is delivered in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Garry Sambrook MP said: “It was great to visit the college and see the work they do and facilities they have. Construction is a growing sector and is vital as we build back better coming out of the pandemic.
“The skills students learn here are key to our economy and I wish them all the very best of luck with their careers.”
For further information about Construction College Midlands, see here.