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City College Plymouth & Kier Partner to Boost Social Mobility in Plymouth’s Construction Sector

The city’s anchor institution for skills, City College Plymouth, in partnership with Kier, one of the UK’s leading construction and infrastructure services companies, celebrated the successful opening of a significant initiative designed to tackle the skills requirements in the city’s construction sector, while championing social mobility for Plymouth and upholding the College’s civic duty.

The launch of the Hard Hat Ready Training & Learning Centre took place on Wednesday 6 September at the College’s Picquet site in Devonport and was attended by Kier’s supply chain partners and key stakeholders from the construction sector.

The partnership between City College Plymouth and Kier, a tier one contractor, was developed to bridge the skills gap in the construction sector. This initiative was a direct response to the demand for skilled workers in Plymouth and the wider region. Kier’s ongoing and completed projects in the city include Intercity House and Plymouth City Council’s new crematorium, ‘The Park’. 

The Hard Hat Ready Training & Learning Centre will offer a free, five-week Level 1 Diploma in the Construction and Built Environment, providing essential skills to adults who are interested in pursuing a career in construction. The diploma is also poised to transform the lives of unemployed individuals and ex-offenders by equipping them with the necessary skills to thrive in the city’s construction sector.

The course aims to create a skilled workforce pipeline for Kier’s supply chain who will provide interviews for those who have successfully completed the five-week programme. Covering a wide range of vital construction trades, including bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, plastering, painting and decorating, wall and floor tiling, and plumbing, the course will also provide essential work experience opportunities. 

Additionally, students enrolled in the course will have the opportunity to obtain their Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, a critical credential for accessing employment opportunities within the construction sector.

The Hard Hat Ready Training & Learning Centre is a testament to City College Plymouth’s unwavering commitment to their civic duty and the betterment of Plymouth’s community by empowering those who seek to rebuild their lives and embark on fulfilling careers in the vibrant construction sector.

Jackie Grubb, Chief Executive of City College Plymouth, highlighted the profound impact of the Hard Hat Ready Training & Learning Centre on both the construction sector and the broader community, emphasising the College’s civic duty and commitment to advancing social mobility in Plymouth.

She stated, “The Hard Hat Ready Training & Learning Centre is a significant step towards building a robust workforce for the construction sector and is a testament to our commitment to providing high-quality education and addressing the skills gap in the construction industry. But it goes beyond that. It exemplifies our unwavering civic duty to the city of Plymouth.”

Jackie continued, “Our partnership with Kier Construction not only bridges the skills gap but also champions social mobility. By offering a free, five-week course in construction skills, we are empowering adults, including unemployed individuals and ex-offenders, with the essential skills to embark on fulfilling careers in the vibrant construction sector.

“This initiative aligns with our core belief that education is the key to opportunity, and by doing so, we are strengthening our city’s social fabric. We are creating a pathway for those who seek to rebuild their lives and contribute to the betterment of Plymouth. This is our civic duty in action – enhancing the life chances of our community members and forging a brighter future for Plymouth through education and social mobility.”

Doug Lloyd, Regional Director for Kier, added, “As a leading construction company with a long-standing presence in the city, we recognise the importance of investing in a skilled workforce for the future. The Hard Hat Ready course will provide benefits for those looking to upskill or begin a career in construction, as well as our wider supply chain and the local community. We are excited to be part of this initiative and to continue our partnerships with City College Plymouth and Building Plymouth, which provide opportunities for individuals to thrive in the construction industry.”