On 25th June 2018, we expanded our services and opened the doors to our brand new Construction Academy in Darlington. The academy is offering a NOCN level 1 certificate in construction skills, covering bricklaying and joinery initially, with further trades to be added soon. We will also be providing learners with the opportunity to gain their CSCS labourer card free of charge.
Currently, there is a huge skills gap within the construction industry, we are aiming to reskill 60 people initially within the first three months. We have partnered with several employers, some local businesses, and some world-wide companies, who will be interviewing successful learners with the aim to get them into work or apprenticeships.
The courses currently run for three weeks, in which learners get to experience bricklaying and joinery first-hand, building their practical skills in a construction environment. They will gain two qualifications, NOCN level 1 certificate in construction skills, and NCFE level 1 personal and social development, which will provide learners with an up to date CV, and the interview skills needed to gain employment. This qualification will also provide additional life skills training, covering money management, working in a team, problem-solving and effective communication – core competencies that employers are looking for.
The learners will have access to additional benefits including free PPE (boots, high visibility vests, etc.) and free lunches, as well as a dedicated Welfare Support Officer; a qualified counsellor who is on hand to ensure their well-being. Once the learners have completed the course, there will be options available to them from our employer partners.
Steve Kirsopp, director at Optimum Skills, said: “We’re delighted to have received the increased funding as this will enable us to help fill the construction skills gap. It’s a fantastic opportunity for unemployed people to not only enter this industry but to also set them on their way to sustainable employment with a new trade.”
“We chose Darlington as a location thanks to its fantastic links across Tees Valley and the wider County Durham area and we feel that we’re offering something different to other providers in the region.”