HS2 offers free training to help jobseekers start a career in construction

College leavers and West Midlands residents who want to start a career in construction have just one week left to sign up for HS2’s free job training programme.

The accredited construction training course, which takes just 6-8 weeks to complete, is open to residents aged 18 and over who live in the West Midlands, Warwickshire and Staffordshire.

The training is delivered at Balfour Beatty VINCI’s (BBV) Skills Academy in Bordesley Green, Birmingham and combines both practical and theory-based learning which enables trainees to progress straight onto a paid work trial supporting HS2’s construction in the region.

September’s training programme will begin on Monday 12th and BBV is hosting an Open Day at its Academy on Wednesday 7th so people can visit the facilities, speak to tutors and find out more about the jobs on offer when they graduate.

Since opening its doors in November last year, 130 local residents have graduated from the Bordesley Green Academy, with 84% securing full time employment straight after completing their paid work trial.

Shilpi Akbar, Head of Stakeholder and Communities at Balfour Beatty VINCI said:

“As HS2’s construction partner for the Midlands, our role goes beyond delivering this major rail project.  We’re passionate about making sure communities across the region feel the full benefit too.

 “That’s why I’d encourage anyone who’s thinking about a career in construction to come along to our Skills Academy to find out more about our free training courses and the opportunities that are available right on their doorstep.”

42-year-old Anthony Jordan from Ward End in Birmingham recently graduated and moved straight into a job at BBV’s Washwood Heath construction site, which will become the main depot and control centre for the whole HS2 network. Anthony showed a keen interest in plant machinery and the Academy has provided him with the certification he needed to start out in his new career.

 Anthony said:

“After working for builders and roofers for the past 10-15 years on and off, I really wanted a change and to join a major project. Through training at the Skills Academy and moving on to a work trial, I was able to get an idea of what it’s like to work on a construction site.

“I’m now working full time on HS2 and have my CPCS Telescopic Handler ticket, which I’m looking forward to using, as I’ll be able to contribute a lot more and be an even more productive member of the team.”

When 24-year old Andreas Edwards from Quinton was made redundant from his job as a bar manager he decided it was time to try something new. He heard about the Skills Academy through the Job Centre and signed up straight away. After completing his work trial, Anthony moved into a full time job at BBV’s Kingsbury site in Warwickshire, where he’s now working as a Site Engineer’s Assistant leading on site surveys.

Andreas said:

“I really enjoy the split between office-based and on-site work and seeing how the survey information I’m providing helps to support the delivery of the project.  

“It’s been a great move, and I believe this will open up more opportunities and help me to progress. In the long-term I hope to establish a career as a quantity surveyor.”

To register your interest in a place on BBV’s next free training programme, which starts on Monday 12th September, email [email protected]

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