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Stepping-in to support the launch of 24 new careers

Exeter people who may be unemployed or looking to change jobs are being urged to Step in and Step up to a new career in the South West’s booming construction sector.

Twenty-four people from Devon are being sought by a new fast-track initiative to recruit and train new talent – in an industry that expects to create almost 6,500 jobs a year in the South West alone.

The Step in and Step up Project

The Plymouth Construction Training Group, South Devon College and sector leaders Kier, Midas, and ISG have teamed up to launch the Step in and Step up project. BAM, Linden and Galliford Try are also supporting this new initiative. The £298,000 project is funded by the employers and by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) which has contributed £208,484 from the CITB Flexible Fund.

The first stage will invite applications via the project website from men and women from a wide range of backgrounds, including people working in other sectors who are looking for a fresh challenge. Twenty-four recruits will be selected and will undergo a 12-month programme of training and hands-on experience in some of the many careers linked to the construction industry including; design management, procurement, quantity surveying, site management and aftercare.

The training programme has been developed alongside the CITB to provide a good grounding in the industry with English, Maths and ICT training also available. The courses are designed to be as flexible as possible to attract a wide range of people; with options to train in the evenings and at weekends for those who have an existing job or for those who may have young children and are looking to retrain for a new career.

Brian Rice, Kier Construction’s Operations Director for Devon and Cornwall, said:

We are proud to be leading this important initiative, which aims to encourage experienced people working outside the industry to experience the wide range of career opportunities construction has to offer.

Working with our partners, we are helping to address the skills gap and through this programme, we can make a real difference by bringing 24 talented and ambitious professionals into the sector. We hope that the project will be adopted in other areas of the country, and are very grateful to the CITB for its support and funding, which has made this possible.

Roy Imeson, Strategic Partnership CITB Advisor (South West), said:

I expect that this project will be integral to our region. Not only will it help get so many of our key construction projects off the ground, it will have a huge impact on the lives of 24 local people and their families. I’m proud that CITB is funding this project.

South West construction growth is forecast to be the second highest of all UK regions

Construction output in the South West is expected to increase by more than four per cent a year until at least 2020, the second highest growth rate in the country. The Construction Skills Network has calculated that this will create 6,480 jobs each year, 60 per cent of which are senior, professional, technical and office-based roles.(1)

As well as major housebuilding schemes, including the new towns of Cranbrook and Sherford, near Plymouth, projects such as the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will see major recruitment drives. Hinkley Point C expects to see up to 6,500 workers on site at any one time during the anticipated eight-year construction programme.

Meanwhile plans for a new gas-fired power station at Bristol and improvements in the region’s road network will see a further £2.4 billion invested in construction projects.