Hundreds of new jobs are available as a £370,000 training centre is due to open soon at the huge £1billion Sherford housing development.
Construction firms are looking to recruit hundreds of workers, and when the enormous scheme is in full swing, in few years time, there will be 400 people on site at any time and it will need to recruit 100 apprentices a year – and lots of other workers too.
Already 120 houses have been built at the new town on the edge of Plymouth, and 150 are under construction.
And a new primary school has its foundation laid and steel skeleton going up for it to be ready by September 2018.
It means workers are needed now, with 20 apprentices being taken on in time for the opening of the new training centre, in March 2018, as the Plymouth Herald reports.
And construction chiefs have said firms working on the scheme are already facing serious labour shortages.
New residents at Sherford development (Image: Guy Channing/Formedia)
That’s why they invited companies to a Sherford Training Centre Sub-contractor conference at City College Plymouth’s PL1 Restaurant, so they could learn about where the skills shortages are most acute. And they revealed the top five trades most in demand.
Five of the jobs you can apply for
Sealant applicators – which the industry website Construct says can earn £22,000 to £35,000 a year.
Bricklayers – the Office for National Statistics says they can earn £155 a day.
Groundworkers – the industry average is about £13.20 an hour for these workers.
Carpenters and joiners – who the Government say can earn £120 to £150 a day.
Dryliners and plasterers – the ONS says they can earn £120 to £200 a day.
Even labourers can earn £8.05 per hour – and there is a shortage of them too.
“We are struggling a bit for recruitment,” said Bernadette Parkinson, of Plymouth Construction Training Group. “I was with a company just yesterday and they were looking for operatives.”
Bernadette Parkinson, Plymouth Construction Training Group (Image: Penny Cross)
She said specific courses, to tackle the areas most in need of staff, are being set up, particularly as apprenticeship recruitment nationally has dropped by about 60 per cent since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017.
“From a recruitment point of view we will need about 100 apprentices a year at Sherford,” she said.
Councillor Steve Ricketts, Sherford skills & training co-ordinator, said the entire project would include 5,500 homes, three primary schools, a recreation centre, a library, a town hall and shops.
“It’s a new town, a new entity on the edge of Plymouth,” he said.
He said 30 apprentices had already been employed at Sherford, which is being delivered by a consortium of three firms: Bovis Homes, Linden Homes and Taylor Wimpey.
“And there’s more to come,” Mr Ricketts stressed. “This is just the start.”
Sherford will have the look and feel of a typical English town
He said the new training facility would be looking to attract military veterans who want to re-skill for civilian life, alongside apprentices, and those currently working at Sherford who need to up-skill.
The training centre is being funded by the Sherford Consortium, and will operate for at least three years.
City College Plymouth , South Devon College and Plymouth Construction Training Group are all involved and the training is funded by the Construction Industry Trading Board (CITB).
Mr Ricketts said the Sherford Skills Training Scheme would expect 60 per cent of its users being former members of the armed forces.
The training centre will include two classrooms, a workshop and an outdoor training area.
It will focus on providing training across five key areas: bricklaying, traditional roofing, specialist carpentry, drylining and sealants.
CGI images of Sherford Vale
There will also be opportunities to provide further training across other areas of construction including site management and health and safety.
Those using the training centre will be supported by expert onsite teams, teaching staff, and a training coordinator based at the facility.
Mr Ricketts said: “We have worked with the Sherford Consortium to identify the skills most needed in the region and along with the support from the CITB, it is fantastic that the centre is soon to be a welcome reality.”
Ian Pugsley, from Taylor Wimpey, member of the Sherford Consortium and lead house builder for the training centre, said: “Local people are playing a significant role in the construction of Sherford.”
He said the training centre will benefit those working at Sherford, apprentices, and veterans “many of which already work at Sherford”.
Mrs Ricketts and Mrs Ricketts were two of the key speakers at the Sherford conference, others included Richard Darlow, of Brookbanks Consulting, Charlie Pond from City College Plymouth, Steve Warren-Brown from YGS Landscapes, and David Hynd, from the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Growth Hub.
Source: Devon live