Over 1,200 people have received training from the new Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) – before the hub has even been built at the SA1 waterfront site.
CWIC is already delivering world-class training and courses including the scaffolding management course at Coleg Cambria and the heritage plastering course at Coleg y Cymoedd – taught for the first time in Wales.
To date the partnership which includes Coleg Sir Gâr, Coleg Ceredigion, Coleg Cambria and Coleg y Cymoedd has also delivered over 170 events.
CWIC’s activities have supported 305 Welsh employers through its engagement with Welsh construction industry professionals, operatives and related staff.
As the steel frame of the new centre takes shape in Swansea, the CWIC team celebrated their first year of operating with the partner colleges and invited guests from the construction industry in Wales.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and a consortium led by The University of Wales Trinity Saint David, are working in partnership to deliver (CWIC) state-of-the-art facilities and training for individuals and construction companies, with CITB investing £6.5m. The centre is due to open in autumn 2018 and will see a minimum of 1100 students trained at the SA1 hub each year.
Situated in phase one of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s new £300m SA1 Swansea Waterfront development, the building is being constructed by Kier. It will cover 1,000 square metres of floor space, providing a ConstructZone, classrooms, dedicated IT suites and conference facilities. A dedicated scaffolding training facility will also be sited close by.
Director of CWIC, Gerald Naylor said: “We are not only working quickly & responsively to meet the needs of the construction industry in Wales but also working collaboratively with a number of industry partners on improving employer-education engagement. CWIC is also partnering with other stakeholders in promoting a positive image of the construction industry to potential new entrants”.
Mark Bodger, Strategic Partnership Director for CITB Wales, said: “The Construction Wales Innovation Centre is already having a huge impact on skills and training in Wales. By working with partners, we are delivering world-class training whilst meeting the needs of the construction sector in Wales. A strong pipeline of work is forecast for Wales and CWIC will play a crucial role in ensuring Welsh construction workers have the training and skills they need now and in the future.
Barry Liles, Coleg Sir Gâr principal said: “I believe that CWIC is a valuable initiative that we’re thrilled to be part of, delivering training for industry which is beyond our current product range. We are keen to continue our engagement with industry and CWIC funding has helped us assist over 100 companies in the construction sector, from large contractors to the self-employed. This demonstrates that there is both an appetite and significant demand to train and upskill the Welsh workforce across niche areas such as gas membrane installation to heavy plant and machinery.”
Judith Evans, Coleg y Cymoedd principal said: “CWIC offers great opportunities for candidates to future proof their skills in an ever changing sector. Members of the Four Construction Group have already benefited from a variety courses from Level 2 Plant with Coleg y Cymoedd to Level 6 Construction Management with Coleg Sir Gar. Funding through programmes like this is so important, not only for individuals but also for the growth Small and Medium Enterprises across Wales.
David B Jones, Coleg Cambria principal said: “Since becoming part of the CWIC delivery team across Wales, Coleg Cambria have had the opportunity to deliver bespoke courses to employers tailored to meet their individual needs. This has enabled us to meet new employers and strengthen ties and relationships with current employers. The employers and employees have found the training to be a great insight into the project and are more than eager to return to see it progress and further their knowledge in specific areas.”
Howard Monsen, senior project manager, Kier Construction Western and Wales, said: “Kier is delighted to be contributing towards this vital project that is having such a positive impact on employment and education in the region. Kier has a long-standing record of commitment of recruitment and training in the industry, with a bespoke training classroom, designed for students from local schools, universities and surrounding colleges to experience real challenges and rewards of working within the construction industry. On the SA1 project so far, we have created 20 jobs, 3 graduate schemes, 12 apprenticeships and a total 284 weeks of training. It’s vital that we continue to exceed our community targets and carry on in our quest to create opportunities now and in the future.”