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Construction Skills Fund Hub in Sheffield celebrates 150th local trainee

The Building Block, one of 20 onsite training hubs funded by the Construction Skills Fund (CSF), is celebrating enrolling Ellie Revill, a 19 year old trainee bricklayer currently employed by Engie, as its 150th candidate.

Coordinated by Sheffield City Council and with support from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the hub is a unique partnership between housing development companies across the city to train local people to become site-ready for a job in construction. These new recruits will help build 10,000 new homes across the city to help meet the council’s home building target.

A grant of more than £715k was awarded to The Building Block through the Construction Skills Fund (CSF) in October 2018. So far, the scheme has successfully enrolled 150 people across its housing sites, providing a new route into the construction industry and a major training boost for local projects.

Delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the £22m CSF is funded by the Department for Education (DfE) with the aim of training more than 17,000 people to be ready for employment in construction by March 2020.

Following a two week programme where they benefit from learning a variety of key skills, learners gain invaluable work experience at one of the city’s housing development sites. From here, successful candidates have the opportunity to gain long term employment.

Bricklayer Ellie Revill will now be commencing her career in construction with Engie subcontractor Barnsley Brickwork.

She said: “With the construction industry facing a shortage of workers, I’m really pleased to be playing my part in training to become a bricklayer. The training hubs give people like me the opportunity to learn on the job and gain as much experience as possible. It’s a really valuable project which I’m proud to be a part of.”

Laura Hayfield, programme manager at Sheffield City Council, said: “It’s brilliant to see how successful our Hub has been and the engagement we’ve had with potential candidates. The level of interaction and interest from the community on the opportunities that are available to them in the construction industry highlights the importance of initiatives like the CSF.

“We are excited to continue supporting the construction industry and doing everything we can to bridge the UK skills gap by recruiting and training people from across Sheffield.”

Gillian Brewin, CITB partnerships manager – Midlands and North, said: “The work that The Building Block and the partner organisations are doing is vital if we are to supply the 158,000 skilled construction workers required by 2022. The hubs are providing local people across Sheffield with real-world training for roles in the construction industry, which would have been otherwise unavailable to them.

“We will continue working with organisations like those in Sheffield to bring new talent to the construction industry, and the CSF project is a key part of the making this happen.”

The Construction Skills Fund has been created as part of the Government’s National Retraining Scheme to support innovative ways of training new entrants and retaining adults in the construction sector. The hubs provide life-changing opportunities to start a career in construction, with particular focus on the long-term unemployed, career changers and unrepresented groups.


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