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Skills Group Delivers Construction Apprenticeships

Skills Group is the first training provider in the region of Devon to deliver groundworks apprenticeships due to demand from the construction industry. A total of 179 learners took up the NVQ Level 2 Groundworks apprenticeship, and a further 91 are working towards a Level 3 NVQ apprenticeship in Occupational Work Supervision.

The courses were launched 18 months ago by Skills Group and Steve Hoskin Construction Ltd, which recognised a gap in the market. “If you look at the college and university education system you have courses for bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers and tilers, all the classic trades, but there was nothing locally for ground workers,” explained Colin Vout, the Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality Manager at Steve Hoskin Construction Ltd.

Ground workers are an important part in the preparation process of a construction site, because they are the ones that arrive first on site and prepare everything. “It is their job to put all the roads, drainage and infrastructure in place and build the plots up to damp proof course foundation level. The other trades then come in and build on top of that. If the ground workers do not get it right, nothing else can go right,” said Colin.

The apprenticeship provides training for a specialist skill set, as well as giving learners a sense of pride. It is also beneficial for the construction company, because it enables them to demonstrate a particular standard of quality in the training of their groundworks employees.

“With so many major building projects across the South West including; Sherford, Millbay, Market Quarter in Holsworthy, and various residential developments in Paignton and Torquay, demand is high for a qualified workforce,” said Mark Boulting, Skills Group managing director. “We are delighted with the uptake and success rate of our groundworks programmes and look forward to it continuing well into the future.”

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