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One Lockleaze Skills Academy welcomes its first students

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Our skills academy in the heart of our One Lockleaze site is now offering free training courses to kickstart careers in construction.

It offers free short courses for anyone aged 19+, and teaches the essential skills required to secure a job in construction. The academy has both classroom and practical workspaces, meaning students can learn the art of plastering, plumbing or brickwork on a real house, on an active building site.

Graduates of the Level 1 course receive a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, a requirement for most development sites and therefore a ticket to your first or next job.

Ragan Rylatt-Williams, age 23 from Eastville, was one of the first students to receive training at the One Lockleaze Skills Academy. He said:

“My dream is to own my own development site, to help other people. I want to build affordable houses for people who are struggling, and I want to be able to build a house for my mum any my grandparents.

“Without the skills academy, I wouldn’t have been able to afford the training I need; so, this means to world to me, and is getting me closer to my dream.

Since completing the course Ragan now has a job as a labourer on a construction site.

According to the latest data from Construction Skills Network, an extra 225,000 construction workers may be needed by 2027 to meet UK demand. Inflation, energy costs and the knock-on effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a severe shortage of skilled employees, so recruiting and training new workers remains a key challenge for the industry.

Stephen Baker, MD of Goram Homes, said:

“The skills learnt here could be life changing. By offering free courses on our development sites, we’re giving people a crucial head-start into a construction career and training the next generation of house builders. It’s a great example of how developers can do much more than build houses – we can support the communities in which we build too.”

Cllr Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homes, said:

“I am pleased to see our ambitions to create local employment and skills opportunities being put into practice as we get on with the job of building more homes, including much needed council-owned homes.

“Over 11,000 new homes have been built in Bristol since 2016, including 2,563 new homes in the year to April 2022.  Almost 500 affordable homes were built in that year, the most in more than a decade, as we scale up to get Bristol building 1,000 new affordable homes a year.

“The council’s ambition is to work with partners, local communities and developers to deliver those new affordable homes as part of Project 1,000, so there’ll be jobs for Skills Academy graduates for many years to come.”

We set up this innovative training centre with our development partner Countryside Partnerships and training provider, Partners in Bristol.

Stephen Teagle, CEO of Countryside Partnerships, said:

“We set up our Skills Academies more than five years ago, to help train local people whilst also combatting the nationwide construction skills shortage.

Since then, our academies have welcomed more than 800 people, and we’re delighted to be launching this new programme at One Lockleaze in partnership with Goram Homes and Partners in Bristol. If you’ve ever considered a career in construction, or if you’d like to reskill and retrain, this is the programme for you.”

Rob Hazelton, Managing Director of Partners in Bristol said:

“We know how important the construction industry is in Bristol and how many vacancies there are across the sector locally, regionally and nationally.

The invaluable ‘real world’ experiences our learners get working on a site like this means the next generation of plasterers, plumbers, brick workers, carpenters and joiners will be ready to enter the profession having already seen first-hand what it’s like to work on a house building site.”

The Highfields Level 1 Certificate is a 10-day course that covers the basics of working on site, and gives students a CSCS card on completion.

The OCR Level 2 Extended Certificates cover a variety of specialisms, from carpentry to plumbing, and will be tailored according to the demand.

Anyone interested in finding out more, or applying for one of the courses on offer, please visit the Goram Homes website:

Published On: 10 July 2023

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Registered in England and Wales No.11597204.

© Copyright 2023 | Goram Homes Limited – A Bristol City Council owned company.
All Rights Reserved | Registered in England and Wales No.11597204.