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Opportunities to become qualified in the construction sector have been given a boost following the launch of an initiative that will see jobseekers gain hands-on experience of roles in groundworks.

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, working in partnership with IM Properties and Hinckley based groundworks specialists WK Construction Ltd, are creating a Sector-Based Work Academy which will deliver a fast track training programme and provide job seekers with the skills they require to take on groundwork roles.

Candidates who complete an initial assessment with Jobcentre Plus will be nominated for the three-week intensive training scheme to be held at the College’s Harrowbrook specialist construction campus and at IM Properties’ Hinckley Park site. Participants will benefit from the unique facilities of both training environments as well as input from the College’s specialist trainers and WK Construction’s own staff.

Training activities will include preparing grounds, laying slabs, edging, dumper driver training, health and safety, employability skills and will conclude in the completion of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme qualification. Successful candidates will be guaranteed interviews for permanent job roles to start immediately, preparing the groundwork at the 18-acre industrial and manufacturing site near Junction 1 of the M69.

The initiative due to get underway in June 2019, has been developed through a partnership between Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council and Hinckley Park’s owner/developer IM Properties. Working with the principal contractor for the development, Winvic Construction Ltd, and its sub-contractor for groundworks, WK Construction, the training will meet the requirements of an Employment and Skills charter designed to ensure that local people benefit from the success of this commercial venture.

David Smith, Planning Director at IM Properties said ‘’We are delighted to be supporting this unique groundworks initiative, which stems from our overarching Hinckley park local employment and training commitments. It will have tangible benefits for our supply chain, the college, and those looking for new opportunities in a key trade for the construction sector. With nurturing we hope this initiative will evolve and become an exemplar of how key stakeholder should collaborate when faced with growing skills shortages”.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “We’re delighted to be involved in this project which promises to bring prosperity and new employment opportunities to the local community.

“We know that there is no time to be lost on this fast-moving development and we aim to equip new recruits with the skills they need so that they are ready to start making an immediate contribution to the workforce. This scheme is a fantastic example of how the education sector can work effectively with industry to address skills gaps and quickly provide trained and work-ready employees sourced from within the local community.”

This training programme forms part of a pilot and partners hope to extend the opportunity to other construction companies operating within the local area with the aim of addressing the specific skills shortages faced by the construction sector.

Anyone who is interested in joining the groundworks training programme should contact Jobcentre Plus for more information.