Birmingham City Mayor opens Dudley Construction Training Centre
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, was present to officially open the new construction plant training centre at Dudley College of Technology which aims to assist unemployed people from the West Midlands region into employment.
The new centre which is located in Brierley Hill will provide unemployed adults with free skills and tickets that are required to gain work on major infrastructure projects within the region such HS2, the Midland Metro expansion and the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games due to the funding provided by West Midlands Combined Authority which results in a guaranteed job interview at the end of the course.
Dara McCarthy & Sean Hessen (front right) meet the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, & principal at Dudley College alongside local people who are benefiting from the training that RMF provide through the West Midlands Combined Authority.
The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, opened the college work area and said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to help Dudley College of Technology give local residents the practical experience and qualifications they need to get the best possible start for a career in construction.
“We know the construction industry in the West Midlands will need 50,000 more trained staff by 2030 but there is a shortage of people with the right skills to fill these jobs.
“This investment in training shows our commitment to addressing the skills gap and giving our residents the opportunity to work on projects in their local area.”
Training will be provided in key industry areas such as: plant operations; groundworks and highways; logistics; and health and safety. The training will include the use of construction machinery such as 360° excavators, dumper trucks, rollers and telescopic handlers which will allow learners to understand how to manoeuvre plant effectively and safely.
Learners will also have opportunities to be trained in the use of scaffolding at the college’s Construction Apprenticeship Training Centre (CAT) which is less than half a mile away.
Neil Thomas, chief executive and principal at Dudley College of Technology, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the WMCA to create this new facility to help tackle the skills shortage in plant operations for the construction industry.
“Construction training is a flagship element of the college’s provision, with hundreds of people undertaking training each year and this new centre adds to the £20 million investment we have already made in facilities for this important sector. By training local people, we can make sure they benefit from the many infrastructure developments taking place in the region, while also contributing to the visible transformation of their area.”
He added: “While it is early days for the plant training centre, which has only been up and running since November, we have had 100% success rate for the first group of learners with over 70% of them progressing directly into jobs and the remaining 30% going on to further technical training. Our intention is to train 200 people before July 2020, with the majority of these learners moving into work on significant projects in the region such as Midland Metro.”
Two of the learners from the first cohort with RMF, Ryan Burrows (aged 28) and Harvey Jukes (29), who had been out of work for many months before joining the scheme, now feel positive about re-entering work with the qualifications they have gained.
Commenting on his time on the programme, Ryan said: “It’s given me a new lease of life, with new opportunities I didn’t expect this time a year ago. I’m looking forward to getting back into work.”
Harvey added: “This experience has boosted my confidence so much that I will be looking to progress on to higher levels of study. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for new options who feels they have reached a dead end.”
To sign up for construction training, contact RMF on 0121 440 7970. You can also contact the National Careers Service West Midlands on 0121 296 5550, or you can find out more information about the National Careers Service via https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/.