From education to employment

New Training Centre for Infrastructure, Skills and Technology celebrates successful first course

A new training centre in North Wales has successfully trained its first cohort of scaffolders.

The Busnes@LlandrilloMenai’s Centre for Infrastructure, Skills and Technology (CIST) at Llangefni, Anglesey held the scaffolding course recently, delivered by Simian Risk Management and with support for learners from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

The £2.1 million facility was supported by the Welsh Government Energy Island funding, and now allows learners in North Wales to take a scaffolding course locally rather than having to travel to the North West or West Midlands of England.

Among those completing the course as the first step to his career as a scaffolder was Kyle O’Connor, from Anglesey Scaffolding Company Ltd.

He said: “I really enjoyed the course, and the course tutor has been excellent throughout, with friendly staff at the centre. The facilities for scaffolding training at CIST are fantastic, and it is great see it based on Anglesey which provides opportunities for scaffolders to be trained locally rather than having to travel several hundred miles.”

The completion of the first course comes as a welcome boost for Welsh construction, which is set to bounce back strongly from the Covid-19 pandemic with a 4.1% annual growth in work.

To meet this boon, Welsh construction will need an additional 9,250 workers by 2025, on top of the forecast staff growth of 0.7% – an extra 1,850 workers per year.

CITB Wales’ Engagement Director Mark Bodger said:

“The early success of this centre provides a real boost for Welsh construction, and shows how we’re working with our partners to help the industry in Wales meet its recruitment needs to hit its ambitious targets and help lead the way in Britain’s post-Covid economic recovery. We look forward to seeing further successes from Busnes@LlandrilloMenai’s CIST Centre, Llangefni, complemented by the investment CITB is making into training hubs across Wales to help convince more people that construction is the right sector for them to enjoy a rewarding career in.”

CITB has invested £3.6 million in four learning hubs across Wales, working in partnership with Kier, Cardiff Council, Procure Plus and Cyfle Building Skills.

Over the next three years of the programme, hubs providing coverage in south east, south west and north Wales will deliver over 5,200 onsite experience placements, enabling over 2,000 people to become employment and site-ready before being linked directly to local employers with construction job vacancies.

The hubs are targeting at least 875 people to enter into sustained employment. People who do not immediately secure employment through their hub will continue to receive support and signposting and will have gained the skills needed to pursue a career in construction and increase their employability.

In Wales, major projects driving growth over the next few years include the £750 million South Wales Metro and the £336 million investment from Welsh Water this year, part of the organisation’s £2.3 billion investment being made by 2025.

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