WMCA funds new online construction skills course

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has announced (Apr 14) that they are funding a new programme aimed at giving local people the skills needed to start a new career in construction.

The innovative programme has moved online for the first time, in order to continue training people as current Government restrictions require people to stay at home.

The WMCA has worked with a local construction training academy to design a variety of virtual courses, taught by experienced tutors.

It comes as part of a pilot scheme for the Construction Gateway programme, which offers unemployed people a route into construction through qualifications and experience that have made them ‘site-ready’. The programme also guarantees them a job interview when the course has been completed.

Candidates from across the West Midlands began the online classes last week, with access to construction training, Level 1 health and safety and plant machinery training.

Drone-captured video demonstrations, group sessions and one-to-one support are included in the course, which will result in the qualifications needed to work on any site.

These include Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, and more in-depth courses including City and Guilds accredited Level 2 NVQ in rail engineering track maintenance.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:

“We know this is a very difficult time for the region, but when we emerge from lockdown, we will still have skills shortages in key sectors, including construction.

“And there are job vacancies now in the infrastructure sector, which means some people who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 have an opportunity for a new start in construction.

“It’s brilliant news that we’ve been able to set up online training, in a sector where this might not seem possible, through this new scheme that we’ve developed in partnership with RMF Construction Training Academy.”


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