It was built in partnership with Redrow and Tamworth Borough Council, with input from an industry working group, and was officially opened on 20th May by the housing minister and MP for Tamworth, Chris Pincher.
The training hub, which will be able to support more than 100 apprentices annually, is a purpose-built facility that will immerse trainees in a realistic working environment.
The site is next to an active Redrow development and resembles a typical site compound, with a large covered central space for practical work alongside high-specification classrooms and welfare facilities.
The 18-month programme is delivered through concentrated blocks of training, focusing apprentices on the key skills needed in housebuilding.
Its modular nature means that after a few weeks, apprentices will be able to contribute positively on active sites.
The scheme will train people all year round, with numerous cohort intakes throughout the year — the first round of trainees will be welcomed on 24th May.
Bricklaying has been chosen as the initial focus for the training hub due to the shortage of skilled bricklayers in the housebuilding sector, which has been compounded by the pandemic.
Speaking at the opening, Steve Wood, chief executive at NHBC (pictured above), said that through the new programme, the organisation was addressing “vital skills’ gaps in the industry” and would provide new employment opportunities for younger people.
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“Our commitment to developing the next generation of housebuilders aligns with the government’s ‘Build Back Better’ campaign to support economic growth and I look forward to seeing many apprentices successfully pass through the training hub in the coming years,” he added.
Housing minister Chris Pincher commented: “I am very pleased to open NHBC’s training hub which will train the next generation of bricklayers and will help directly address the skills shortage in the house building sector.
“Apprenticeships and traineeships ensure people have the skills they need to get a well-paid job. They play a key part in the government’s Plan for Jobs, designed to protect, support and create jobs for all ages as we build back better from the pandemic.”
Karen Jones, group HR director at Redrow, stated: “We are thrilled to be working in collaboration with NHBC and Tamworth Borough Council to provide vital training space for our industry’s budding young skilled professionals.
“We know that frequent changes to site location and the travel implications this brings acts as a barrier for many in completing their apprenticeship.
“In providing this long-term training hub we are providing stability and security for many young people.”
NHBC became a registered apprenticeship provider last September and, to date, more than 100 candidates have joined its Construction Site Supervisor apprenticeship programme.