Sheffield City Council has built on the success of its ‘The Building Block’ programme with the launch of a new construction learning hub. The initiative was introduced in the city due its shortage of construction workers, with more than 85 people now successfully moving into full time construction work in six months.
Former hairdresser Ellie credits the learning hub for helping her spark a new career in bricklaying.
“I wasn’t challenged enough as a hairdresser and I was speaking to my partner one evening who told me about a training course his boss was supporting alongside Sheffield City Council, The Building Block,” she said. “I looked into it and thought immediately how great an opportunity this was to start a new career.
“I loved attending the hub; everyone on the course was in the same situation as me, looking to get started in a new career and so we all bonded over that. I was learning new skills every day and I felt a huge sense of satisfaction knowing I was getting closer to my goal of becoming a bricklayer.
“I’m now fortunate enough to work as a bricklayer full time! I started with work experience on a new housing development at Manor Boot; my employers were so impressed with my work ethic I was inundated with offers of employment.
“I now really enjoy coming to work every day and I can’t envisage myself doing anything else.”
This programme forms part of the £22 million Construction Skills Fund (CSF), which has organisations the opportunity to create 26 learning ‘hubs’ across the country, with the aim of training more than 13,000 people to be ready for employment in the construction industry by March 2020.
The hubs provide life-changing opportunities to start a career in construction, with particular focus on the long-term unemployed, career changers and unrepresented groups.
The Building Block programme aims to train up to 650 people with an expected 250 individuals moving into sustained employment by 31 March 2020.
Steve Radley, Policy Director of the Construction Industry Training Board, commented: “Sheffield City Council has an ambitious plan to supply the city with 10,000 new homes over the next 10 years, and to successfully achieve that target it is crucial that new talent is recruited into the local construction industry.
“We’ve seen a fantastic response from local employers as they continue to recruit from the Building Block learning hub. We look forward to seeing further trainees placed in full time employment and helping to further regenerate the city of Sheffield.”