Construction in Essex to benefit from £2m major skills boost

Construction Skills Fund

The Essex Employment and Skills Board has supported two successful Essex bids for on-site training hubs as part of a share of the £22m Construction Skills Fund , administered by the Construction Industry Training Board, to set up the new ‘hubs’ which will train more than 17,000 people to be job and site-ready by March 2020.

The funding, for an 18 month scheme, as part of the Government’s National Retraining Scheme forms a part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy – a long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future by helping businesses create jobs in every part of the UK.

Government funding of circa £1 million each has been awarded to:

Harlow College - Public Health England has been granted permission for its proposal to create a ‘world leading’ science campus and headquarters in Harlow. The proposal is to create a mobile site-based training hub for delivery of apprenticeships, sector work-based academies for job seeking adults, work placements, visits, tasters and school outreach opportunities.  Harlow and neighbouring districts are entering a significant period of growth with potential for the construction of over 16,000 new homes in Harlow and the Gilston Garden Town over the next 15 years. This, combined with the relocation of Public Health England to a new £400 million world leading public health campus in the town, will create great career opportunities for the local population. Through the Construction Skills Fund, Harlow College will construct a purpose-built training hub from which we will deliver high quality training and skills development programmes that create a pipeline of site-ready construction workers for these and future construction projects.

Southend-on-Sea Council (South Essex Bid) - The proposal is to create three training hubs to providing classroom training and trade training facilities in Southend. There will be three sites across three local authorities: Southend, Thurrock and Basildon. 

The funding will help meet the needs of employers and tackle the construction skills shortage, while also supporting those who want to join the industry, particularly adult learners. It will also help inform future policy and prepare for the introduction of technical (T) levels.  The funding in Essex will support over 1300 new entrants into construction.

Greater Essex needs an additional workforce of 7,500 – 19,500 to meet the forecasted need for the County by 2021. There is significant growth forecasted for the County including seven proposed garden communities, 180,000-200,000 homes by 2036, the Lower Thames Crossing, Bradwell B, Tilbury 2 and significant road and rail developments to support these projects.

Karen Spencer, Principal of Harlow College, said: "The Construction Skills Fund gives us an exciting opportunity to address our local skills gap. Harlow is a major hub for development over the next few years, with the relocation of Public Health England, a new junction on the M11, the expansion of Stansted Airport and the new Garden Towns. We are therefore delighted to have been awarded this project to work with a range of employers leading the development of a high quality training facility."