Hart District Council is part of a successful partnership approach in creating new training and employment opportunities in the construction industry for local people.
The partnership consisting of Hart District Council, Hampshire County Council and St Edward, who are building Hartland village, a new development of 1,500 homes in Fleet, are working together to support construction training funded by the CITB Construction Skills Fund.
This training is open to anyone who is new to the construction industry and a number of local residents have attended these courses. St Edward and their sub-contractors have been supporting these courses by providing work experience, apprenticeships and job offers.
Three brothers from Hart have particularly benefited from this partnership. Michael, Ben and Jamie Walker all attended a two week Construction Skills course in June 2019 and were spotted as having the right potential. All three brothers are now employed at Hartland Village as Groundworkers, with further training planned.
Ben Walker said: “It’s been life changing. We had been unemployed for 18 months before doing the construction course, and we love it!” His brother Michael added: “It’s a great team, we’re friends with everyone, and they are always happy to take the time to teach us more”.
This work is supported through an Employment and Skills Plan agreed by Hart District Council and St Edward.
Speaking about the partnership, Cllr David Neighbour, Leader of Hart District Council said: “One of our priorities as a local council is to enhance residents’ skills and support employment within the district, and by working in partnership with Hampshire County Council and developers such as St Edward, we aim to achieve this.
“These Employment and Skills Plans are designed to set out a range of targets for providing local employment and training opportunities. This includes providing work placements, careers support, jobs for new entrants to the construction industry and improving the qualifications of the existing workforce.”
Alongside this Hart District Council has successfully applied for accreditation from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) meaning that it can work more closely with other developers to enable further Employment and Skills Plans. This accreditation also means that it will be able to access further funding and support whilst working more closely with the construction industry, local schools and colleges, and organisations supporting people looking for work.
Catherine Bullough, CITB Partnerships Manager for South and South West England, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Hart District Council in supporting the training of local people into construction careers and apprenticeships. National Skills Academy for Construction status provides a great foundation for investment in an area through its residents and its businesses.”
For more information about the work of the partnership and Hart District Council’s Employment and Skills Plans, please visit www.hart.gov.uk/employment-skills-plan.