Skills academy could help construction skills boost

We’re doing our bit to help get young people back into work and improve the prospects of the region’s construction industry.

PCH tenants have been signing up for courses at the Working Skills Training Academy of Cornwall College which is being held at Brentor View, Southway, where Galliford Try Partnerships are building 95 new homes on the site of the former primary school.

Once learners have gained their CSCS card through a PCH and Cornwall College Learn for Free course they can go on site for the 18-day training course.

The course, run by Cornwall College, teaches the basics of bricklaying, plastering and rendering and groundwork.

During this time, they also get to go on site to help Galliford Try Partnership’s contractors during the building of the homes.

When they finish the course, the learners have got the option to go on to do apprenticeships or further work trials.

PCH tenant Kim Brown, of Whitleigh, is one of the learners on the current course at Southway.

Kim is a trained nurse and also owned her own salon. She moved to Plymouth and into a PCH home and decided it was time for a change. She enrolled on some of our Learn for Free courses before the Skills Academy. 

She said: “I’d never thought about doing this kind of work before but I absolutely love it. I’m going to be looking for an apprenticeship in plastering when I finish.”

Charlotte Olver, Galliford Try Partnerships Development and Communities Co-ordinator, said: “There is a national skills shortage in the construction industry with the average age of a skilled tradesperson being 53. We see the skills academy as a great way to introduce keen new applicants, new and old, to the industry when they are needed most and are proud of the achievements of all of our learners so far.”

“We are passionate about regenerating areas to create sustainable and vibrant new communities and the skills academy ensures local people are given the opportunities and support they need to get back into employment.”

Ryan Huws, PCH Communities Worker, added: “It’s great that after doing the CSCS courses, people have the opportunity to come on site. We know that employers don’t want people straight out of college without experience. They want people who know their way around a construction site.

“It’s good to be able to give PCH tenants this opportunity to gain skills and hopefully find local jobs.”

When complete, there will be 55 homes for affordable rent at Brentor View and 40 for shared ownership through SO Living.