Opinion

Lendlease: Taking skills training on site

11 November 2019 | By Anna Evans

Anna Evans on training for local people and why the industry needs to provide opportunities.

I’m hugely privileged to be able to lead work for Lendlease on an amazing project now taking shape in the north-west of Birmingham. We’re building 1,400 new homes for Birmingham City Council at Perry Barr on one of the largest construction sites in the region.

However, our role is about more than just construction. As the main contractor for this significant legacy project I am determined that our commitments will create social and economic benefits for the local communities in many different ways which includes creating hundreds of new opportunities for training and employment.

“At a time when the construction industry is undergoing a major skills shortage – as a result of an ageing workforce, Brexit and a continued lack of diversity within the industry – it is vital that we continue to invest in providing training opportunities.”

Anna Evans, Lendlease Europe

I am very proud that we are one of the first projects in the city to provide a construction skills hub on a major regeneration site. The hub enables local people from Birmingham and the wider region to access training – particularly those who are unemployed or seeking apprenticeships.

The training is funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Construction Gateway and allows local people to access training in construction skills. The training has been designed by local training providers in response to the skills needs of employers on site and can range in duration.

The training will be delivered at the onsite construction skills training hub provided by Lendlease. Almost 20 people have already been trained on site in asbestos awareness, CSCS health and safety, manual handling and conflict management. Two of these people have already secured employment with our Infrastructure contractor Careys.

During the construction phase our site will provide 400 jobs for local people, including 100 apprenticeships. And at a time when the construction industry is undergoing a major skills shortage – as a result of an ageing workforce, Brexit and a continued lack of diversity within the industry – it is vital that we continue to invest in providing training opportunities.

This is a wonderful opportunity to encourage new people into our sector and to help our industry to embrace innovation and make the changes we need to be ready for the future.

Anna Evans is project director of the Perry Barr Residential Scheme for Lendlease Europe

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