As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on jobs, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is rolling out another scheme to get people back to work, this time in construction.
With many large-scale building projects in the country’s second city, such as HS2, Commonwealth Games village and high-rise developments, construction workers are in high demand. The WMCA are funding some construction courses at South & City College, for unemployed people. Talk to your job coach at the Job Centre for more information about how to take advantage of these programmes.
Adam Facer [pictured] has previously gone through a construction programme at South & City College. Adam was 29 and had been unemployed for 10 months after losing his job with a sub-contractor providing services to Jaguar Land Rover. Despite daily job searches and support from a job coach, he had not managed to secure new employment and was referred to the Gateway programme. He loved the programme from day one and almost immediately after completing it, gained employment with local company Terrain Construction Ltd.
Adam said, "I was beginning to despair and then I found something that I really enjoyed and was good at. My original Level 3 qualification didn't help me get a job and I didn't see that a further full time course would help me. I don't like office type work, so this was perfect. I didn't expect to get into a job so quickly and now I'm experienced I have lots of options for groundwork jobs."
There are three strands to this programme:
Phase 1 is aimed at those who are new to the construction industry and have been unemployed for a long time, or who have recently been made redundant due to Covid-19 and are wanting to change career. The three to four week introductory course will allow students to gain the licences that are required to work on a construction site - Health and Safety (H&S) and the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), plus learn about basic carpentry skills, construction operations within civil engineering and safe use of abrasive wheels. Also included is the Site Right scheme, supported by Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), which contains Covid-19 safe working practices and working at height and harness awareness.
Phase 2 option 1 is a four to six week programme that builds on Phase 1 and is targeted at those who already have some experience within construction, but their licences have lapsed and need to be renewed. This includes H&S, CSCS, New Roads & Street Works (NRSWA) and small plant machinery, such as forward tipping dumper and ride-on roller.
Phase 2 option 2 is again for those who already have experience within the construction industry and need to renew their licences and improve employment opportunities. The programme lasts up to four weeks, depending on experience and licences required. It includes the required licences to work on site and larger plant licences such as telehandler, 360 excavator and articulated dumper truck.
For those who work in construction already and want to upskill but do not qualify for this programme, the college has other short courses available. Talk to us about your options by calling 0121 702 1093.