Weston College partners with Simian to open CISRS regional centre

Weston College is set to play a lead role in tackling the construction industry skills shortage by opening a brand new industry focused training centre.

The Weston College Construction Training Centre, based just off Junction 21 of the M5, will open in spring 2019 and represents a £3.8 million investment.

It will offer training in three key construction areas – plant operations, scaffolding, and groundworks.

As part of this initiative Weston College has partnered with scaffolding training and safety experts, Simian.

The new centre will increase the availability of Construction Industry Scaffolders’ Record Scheme (CISRS) scaffolding training in the South West. As with most construction trades, the scaffolding industry is currently experiencing a skills shortage and it is expected that the West Wick centre will assist in bridging that gap.

Established in 2005, Simian has cemented their position as industry leaders for scaffolding training and support services. Headquartered in Warrington, the firm now operates a total of four scaffolding training centres in the Midlands, North Wales (Llangefni and Wrexham) and Cheshire, with an additional Centre in east London opening in March 2019.

The new Weston Centre will deliver a large portfolio of CISRS scaffolding courses, which will include new entrant training (COTS), CISRS Part One and Two scaffolding courses, scaffolding Apprenticeships and scaffold inspection training.

Speaking of the partnership, Simian’s Managing Director, Simon Hughes said: “These are exciting times for Simian and we’re delighted to be playing our part in upskilling workers in the south west, as well as providing the opportunity for industry new entrants to obtain the skills and knowledge they need to build a career in the scaffolding sector.

“The increasing levels of UK housing and infrastructure investment mean that the current construction industry skills shortage needs addressing as a matter of urgency and as such, we’re proud to be making Scaffolding Apprenticeships and other vocational scaffolding training available locally in Weston, as this will provide new career opportunities as well as boosting the local economy.”

Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive at Weston College commented: “Weston College has worked hard to identify a strategic partner for scaffolding training at its new Construction Training Centre. We are delighted to be working with Simon and the team at Simian who are nationally renowned as leaders in the field of CISRS accredited scaffolding training and assessment.

“The financial investment to build the Centre has been provided by the College match-funding a successful bid for funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority.”

Chair of the West of England LEP, Prof Steve West, said: “We’re really pleased to support the fantastic new Construction Training Centre at Weston College. This will help to equip our current and future construction workforce with the skills they need to drive forward the building of new homes, business premises and infrastructure as our region grows. It will also help them to secure better career prospects and make the most of the opportunities available right here in the West of England.”