Jackson BlueBox RGB 150px

Jackson’s skills initiative encourages students to choose construction

Jackson recently teamed up with Birmingham City Council and training provider Engineered Learning to deliver the second annual construction skills day for a group of local students.

The ‘Build Your Future’ initiative aims to give students an insight into what it’s like to work in construction, in a bid to address the skills shortage currently facing the industry.

Sixteen students from Birmingham Metropolitan College took part in the day which was held on an Environment Agency site in Birmingham. The group took part in several have-a-go workshops in welding, setting out and bricklaying.

Jackson’s Phil Hinman said: “Days like today are important in addressing the skills shortage in the sector. Construction needs 45,000 new starters each year just to keep ticking over, and with high profile projects like HS2 and the nuclear new build programme coming up, that number is only going to increase.”

“It’s therefore vital that we take steps to attract new recruits from a diverse pool of talent, offering equal opportunities and encouraging people from different backgrounds and beliefs to the industry.”

Lloyd Broad, Interim Head of Employment and Skills at Birmingham City Council said: “Working with our construction partners is vital for the City Council to be able to support young people into construction opportunities.”

Jackson’s ‘Build your Future’ day provided a unique opportunity for these young people to gain hands on experience, develop their skills and build confidence. Skills levels in Birmingham will have a major impact on it’s future economic growth. We’re facing a significant challenge to increase skills levels of those both in and out of work, not just to provide economic growth, but to pursue inclusive growth, that reaches out to citizens in all parts of Birmingham.”

Specialist training provider Engineered Learning ran the welding workshop on the day. Director Dan Read, said: “Construction companies need access to a steady supply of new recruits with the right skills to develop their workforce and ensure long term prosperity.”

“Engineered Learning is growing rapidly in an area of manufacturing training which is arguably not receiving the investment needed, especially in the current climate where businesses are struggling and education is at risk of failing to deliver the workforce our manufacturing and construction employers need.”

Feedback from the group at the end of the day was really positive and the Jackson team is now working with Birmingham City Council to organise more formal work experience placements.

This initiative was also shortlisted for Community Engagement Project of the Year at the Construction News Awards 2018.