A new Plant Training Centre at City of Wolverhampton College will be officially launched by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, on Tuesday, 3 March.
The centre, at the college’s Wellington Road campus, is being supported by A Plant and JCB and is equipped with a range of small plant equipment including excavators, forward tipping dumpers and ride on rollers. It will offer short part-time qualifications, NVQs and full cost courses to train new staff and upskill current employees in the construction groundworks industry.
The college has developed the centre, in partnership with a number of large construction companies, following a Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) report which identified a shortfall in skilled plant workers and the need to create a pipeline of trained operatives to meet the future demands of the industry.
Students will gain skills in machine operation, maintenance and site health and safety, and will be able to work towards gaining their red and blue Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) cards which are required to enable operators to work on construction sites.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is funding training at the centre through the Construction Gateway, which offers unemployed people free construction training and a guaranteed job interview at the end of the course.
Michael Dixon, head of faculty for technology, creative and academic studies at the college, said: “With the recent announcement that HS2 has got the green light to go ahead, along with major commercial construction projects and large-scale housing developments across the region, there will be an increasing demand for trained operatives in the industry.
“We are delighted to have developed the new centre and are grateful for the support of our industry partners which will enable us to provide high-quality sector-specific training to local people of all ages and abilities, from beginner to advanced level.”
In a further training boost for local people, the college will be launching a new construction plant apprenticeship in the autumn. The scheme will enable new or existing staff to combine working for an employer with studying for their construction plant qualifications at college.