Fareham College’s Civil Engineering Training Centre (CETC) has won the very much sought-after Apprentice Initiative Award at the annual awards dinner at The Royal Lancaster, London, where construction industry professionals waited in anticipation to learn the results following a thorough and robust judging process in all the 16 categories.

CETC is a partnership between Fareham College and Solent Civil Engineering Employers Group (SCEEG). It is a simulated construction site that has been designed to give civil engineering apprentices a realistic training environment to get them site-ready. SCEEG provides governance to the apprenticeship programme and comprises employer members, associate members such as CECA, suppliers and construction companies outside of civil engineering such as Taylor Wimpey. Day-to-day, the centre is managed by a site manager and training delivered by experienced civil engineering operatives.

The project supports the development of the existing workforce in a practical way that is not only cost and time efficient, but also re-engages the workforce with skills that are of value to both the individual and the employer. CETC has attracted national attention and government interest as an example of an employer led, co-designed apprenticeship. Due to the programme’s success, proposals for a new £4.1m ‘CETC 2’ campus have been awarded preliminary funding of £2.8m from Fareham College and the Solent LEP for an estimated Autumn 2019 completion.

This is a practical scheme that not only addresses the skills shortage but importantly the lack of ‘suitable’ apprenticeship standards and low levels of funding available. It has achieved the right staff ratio to deliver first class training and, at an early stage, apprentices are fully aware of what is expected of them, especially in the winter months.

“The Apprenticeship Initiative category, sponsored by CoTrain, seeks forward-thinking employers that actively and innovatively develop a sustainable workforce by equipping young people with skills, knowledge and confidence” explains Darren Birch, Regional Framework Manager, BAM Construction Ltd and head judge for this award. “The Civil and Engineering Training Centre (CETC) is an exemplary model of an employer-led apprenticeship programme that is co-designed to meet skills shortages and productivity issues.”

The Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards are unique in their recognition of some of the best teams and organisations in the region and aim to inspire others to learn and benefit from their stories which are published in the Awards Brochure. “The key actions they took, results achieved, and lessons learned make an interesting read” says Derek Rees, Regional Director for Constructing Excellence. Click here to download the full brochure and find out more about the winner of the Apprenticeship Initiative 2018.

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