Local and regional businesses are playing an invaluable role in the planning, design and build of our new Construction Training Centre.
One of the main aims of this brand new facility (due to open in spring 2019) is to provide training in areas of the construction industry that are experiencing a skills shortage – namely scaffolding, groundworks and plant operations.
We’ve aimed to consult employers and industry leaders at every stage in the planning, design and construction of the new centre. So, as the build approaches the final stage, we’ve held a series of business engagement breakfasts to make sure we’re on track to deliver the skills industry requires.
We invited employers working in those three key sectors to talk about our plans for the centre, and to get any feedback, advice or suggestions they may have.
These include home builders Bloor Homes and Taylor Wimpey; SGB, Simian and Layher from the scaffolding sector; infrastructure firms EDF and Midas; and plant hire company Plant Force.
The events were a huge success. Reactions to the centre were overwhelmingly positive and employers were genuinely impressed and excited about what the centre will offer.
But the meetings also provided some important insights and generated discussions that will help us tailor the centre even more closely to the needs of business.
One such conversation was on the topic of virtual reality training in machine operations. This involves, for example, the use of GPS plotting and virtual simulators for excavator operators – much the same as pilots training.
The view from the employers was that virtual training will become more prevalent in this sector, and that it’s a positive move for the industry.
This is something we will consider when planning the finer details of the centre – and a prime example of why employers’ input in the centre is so crucial.
Ultimately, our employers’ breakfasts were a way of putting meat on the bones of our plans – not so much shaping what we’re doing, but how we’re going to do it.
We had a solid idea of how the centre would look and function, and what form the training would take, but these consultations have helped streamline our plans and thought process as the centre approaches completion.
It’s great to hear from some of the top businesses in the sector that we’re on the right track and will be able to deliver the skills the sector so desperately needs.
Steve Caldwell, Head of Faculty – TEC