A new scaffolding training facility was unveiled at Construction College Midlands (CCM) in Birmingham to meet local sector demand.
The Kings-Norton based site was acquired by Walsall College in December 2020. Since then, they have experienced a three-fold increase in their delivery of scaffolding, groundworks and roofing-based training.
The college’s new £1 million facility is part-funded by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s (GBSLEP) Growing Places Fund.
It enables the college to deliver additional apprenticeships, as well as industry recognised qualifications for new and experienced workers within the construction industry scaffolders record scheme (CISRS). Comprehensive courses are available for trainees, supervisors and those renewing their scaffolder labour cards.
“With this newly established facility, we can accelerate the pace for employers to access the skilled workers so urgently needed by this sector,” said Jatinder Sharma CBE DL, Principal and Chief Executive of Walsall College.
“By replicating a ‘real-world’ scaffolding and building work environment, we are also better equipped to nurture and grow a pipeline of talent through sector work academy programmes (SWAPs) for local jobseekers and taster sessions for schools that showcase construction-based apprenticeships and the range of careers the industry offers.”
Chief Executive of GBSLEP Henriette Breukelaar added: “Our investment of £300,000 from the recycled Growing Places Fund demonstrates GBSLEP’s commitment to supporting projects that raise skills levels in the city-region and drive forward clean and inclusive economic growth. With huge developments in the city such as Paradise and HS2 we need to ensure we have a workforce that can deliver. This new facility will undoubtedly provide construction skills that are needed in the labour market.
GBSLEP is gradually winding down its work this year and it is heartening to know that our investment will make a difference for generations to come – it’s a lasting legacy of the partnership work we have done with education leaders, local authorities and businesses.”
Construction College Midlands is also delivering their sustainability agenda with a suite of new ‘green courses’ for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint. An on-site Green Skills Sustainability Centre will deliver courses in green roofing, sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS), external wall insulation (EWI), permeable paving, retrofit courses, solar panel training and grey water harvesting.
Jatinder Sharma added: “It has long been our ambition to grow our training provision in line with industry needs while supporting employers in delivering eco-friendly practices within their business operations and client services.
“We are delighted our values along the green sustainability agenda now fully align with those of the industry, paving the way for new and experienced construction workers to enhance their specialist knowledge and skills while future-proofing their careers.”