Hundreds of construction trainees in London are gaining entry into the construction industry thanks to an onsite training hub at Battersea Power Station which is run by Wandsworth Council’s Work Match team and funded by the Construction Skills Fund (CSF).
The hub was awarded £500,000 through the CSF in October 2018, and is coordinating its training scheme with support from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). Construction partners helping to deliver the scheme include Mace and Sir Robert McAlpine, as well as Taylor Wimpey that is enabling scaffolding training on a nearby site.
The hub offers an opportunity for individuals to become site-ready for a role in construction through a unique training model which is led by employer demand. All trainees undertake a thorough skills assessment before being provided with their own bespoke route into work, through a matrix of skills tailored to their specific requirements ranging from construction accreditations to short courses before being put forward for relevant roles with employers across construction sites. Battersea Power Station, which is currently undergoing major regeneration works, is accepting trainees on site to ensure they have access to the equipment needed to gain practical experience, from scaffolding to brickwork.
One such trainee is Kai Burrell, who is a Carpentry Apprentice with EE Smith on the Battersea Power Station development. He had been studying carpentry at college before being advised to enrol with Work Match’s construction team.
Kai said: “Work Match helped me get my CSCS card through the Construction Gateway project at Battersea Power Station and put me forward for the position. My life has changed for the better. I had to wake up earlier and I am now surprisingly used to it! My carpentry skills have improved as well as my equipment skills – I am learning valuable skills whilst I train.
“Battersea Power Station is such a unique construction site, so having this on my CV makes me stand out. If you are creative and have an interest in construction, I can recommend the CSF route to get into the industry.”
As of June 2019, the hub has successfully trained 121 candidates and is working towards a target of 400 people completing training and being employment ready by March 2020. The CSF hub provides a new route into the construction industry for jobseekers who wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to work in the sector.
Delivering a much needed skills boost for this crucial central London development, the scheme is aiming to place 120 trainees in sustained employment within Battersea Power Station and other Nine Elms developments, by June 2020.