New construction skills learning hub launches in Sheffield

A new construction learning hub has opened its doors in Sheffield, to offer more opportunities for people interested in training and working in the sector.

Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 13:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 11:38 am
New learning hub launches with The Building Block

The new hub, on Harborough Avenue, was officially opened last month, and forms the base for ‘The Building Block’ – an ambitious programme, coordinated by Sheffield City Council and part of the Construction Skills Fund.

With a shortage of construction workers in Sheffield, the initiative has provided a big boost to the city, supporting the council’s ambition to build 10,000 new homes over the next 10 years. It has already seen more than 85 people successfully move into full time construction work in just six months, providing local people with local jobs.

Among those who have already trained with The Building Block is 19-year-old Ellie Revill, who was previously working as a hairdresser. Now a full time bricklayer, Ellie credits the hub for helping her spark a new career.

Ellie said: “I wasn’t challenged enough as a hairdresser and I was speaking to my partner one evening who told me about a training course his boss was supporting alongside Sheffield City Council - The Building Block. I looked into it and thought immediately how great an opportunity this was to start a new career.

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“I loved the hub; everyone on the course was in the same situation as me, looking to get started in a new career and so we all bonded over that. I was learning new skills every day and I felt a huge sense of satisfaction knowing I was getting closer to my goal of becoming a bricklayer.

“I’m now fortunate enough to work as a bricklayer full time. I started with work experience on a new housing development at Manor Boot, and my employers were so impressed with my work ethic I was inundated with offers of employment.

“I now really enjoy coming to work every day and I can’t envisage myself doing anything else.”

Launched in October 2018 and delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board, the £22m Construction Skills Fund has given organisations the opportunity to create 26 learning ‘hubs’ across the country, with the aim of training more than 13,000 people to be ready for employment in the construction industry by March 2020.