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Swapping the classroom for the construction site


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A pilot scheme where children and students of all ages can learn construction skills on site – supporting classroom learning – has been launched.

'Skills on Site’, supported by CITB and the University of Wales Trinity St David, has officially been introduced at the SA1 Waterfront development.

The scheme is a collaboration between the Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), Kier Construction and Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).  The partners will work alongside education providers and career services to promote onsite learning on the new UWTSD Waterfront site and develop engaging construction activities based on the master programme for the construction works.   Kier Construction has also set up a dedicated classroom and observation platform at the waterfront site.

The scheme will be rolled out to further construction sites across Wales following the pilot, with a further site to be launched in Carmarthen .

The scheme was launched as part of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) World forum, where over 90 delegates from across the globe visited the SA1 Waterfront development/CWIC development to find out more about the landmark project and to share ideas.

Strategic Partnerships Director for CITB Wales Mark Bodger said: “Skills on Site’s aim is to support construction organisations to be able to open up sites to become learning zones. I’m delighted the SA1 site, which is home to the new Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), is the launch pad for the scheme.

“CWIC and the SA1 development are already committed to onsite learning, with students developing various skills throughout the build of the new centre. The SA1 development has also been awarded National Skills Academy for Construction status, which will help create jobs for the local workforce, create high quality apprenticeships and deliver industry-led, first-class training at the development.”

Gareth John, Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Building Hub in Wales, commented: “Promoting the benefits of a career in the construction industry in a collaborative way is vital to ensure we attract new people into a vast array of roles.  In Wales, we currently have 12,000 companies employing more than 100,000 people in the industry which accounts for an annual spend of around £2.3bn.  The construction industry is a vital lifeline to Wales and schemes such as ‘Skills on Site’ are essential in ensuring we attract the men and women of the future into this innovative industry.”

Gerald Naylor, Director of the Construction Wales Innovation Centre, said:  “Skills on site will deliver 'realistic' construction learning on a live site for further and higher education students and staff. The aim of the Construction Wales Innovation Centre is to create a new model for delivering skills to the construction sector in Wales and beyond. I’m delighted we are doing this during the build of the project. It was an honour to showcase this landmark project to the CIOB members from across the world during their visit to the site”

Jason Taylor, Operations Director for Kier Construction - Western and Wales, said: “Kier are leading the way in working in partnership with the Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), CIOB, CITB and the National Skills Academy, within Wales.

Kier has a longstanding record in training and recruitment and following the signing of the memorandum, has provided increased opportunities for employment growth within the local communities and the construction sector in general by working closely with local support groups to target skill gaps and upskilling where necessary.

The training facilities has provided an excellent ‘on-site’ learning hub for local schools, colleges, universities and new entrants within our industry and we are committed to continue our relationships with our partners on other projects”

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