Lockdown hasn’t put an end to free construction industry training opportunities for Hampshire residents looking for a new career. Courses, managed by Hampshire County Council’s Skills and Participation team and delivered by local training providers, have moved online and are available between now and the end of March 2021.
Councillor Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education and Skills, said:
“A shortage of skills in the construction industry reinforces the importance of maintaining training for the next generation of a skilled building workforce. Even during lockdown, building sites are still operating with extra measures in place to make them Covid-safe, and after completing an initial online course, trainees will have the basic qualifications to find work on-site or continue training.
“Hampshire’s Skills and Participation team and their partners have already trained more than 1,400 people of all ages and from all walks of life on these courses, many of whom were seeking to retrain after becoming unemployed due to the pandemic. I am pleased to say that so far 655 former trainees have gone on to apprenticeships or full-time employment in construction since the programme began in 2019.”
The free virtual courses are funded by the Construction Skills Fund and are open to anyone in Hampshire aged 16 or over. Courses last between three and five days, and lead to a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card – the basic qualification needed to work on building sites. At the end of the course, trainees attend a local test centre to take their CSCS test. Assistance is also given to course graduates to find jobs in their local areas.
When lockdown lifts, Hampshire County Council has plans in place to make further Construction Skills Fund courses available, such as forklift truck operation, street works and the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS).
For more information visit hants.gov.uk/construction-training.