New plant training centre to benefit unemployed people in Dudley

construction plant training, people in Dudley,
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street (third from left) meets Neil Thomas, chief executive and principal at Dudley College of Technology (fourth from left), with partners and local people who are benefiting from the training.

Unemployed people in Dudley will be offered free construction training at the new construction plant training centre at Dudley College of Technology

The new construction plant training centre will help give the people of Dudley the skills they require to work on major infrastructure projects in the region, such as the Midland Metro expansion, new business parks and cycle routes.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is funding training at the centre in Brierley Hill through the Construction Gateway, which offers unemployed people free construction training and a guaranteed job interview at the end of the course.

Give people in Dudley practical experience

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to help Dudley College of Technology give local residents the practical experience and qualifications they need to get the best possible start for a career in construction.

“We know the construction industry in the West Midlands will need 50,000 more trained staff by 2030, but there is a shortage of people with the right skills to fill these jobs.

“This investment in training shows our commitment to addressing the skills gap and giving our residents the opportunity to work on projects in their local area.”

Free plant operator and grounds worker training

The construction plant training centre will offer free plant operator and grounds worker training in a range of qualifications. This will include all learners gaining the ‘tickets’ they need to start work immediately on a construction site.

Training will be provided in four key industry areas: plant operations, groundworks and highways, logistics, and health and safety. It will include the use of construction vehicles such as 360° excavators, dumpers and telescopic handlers, how to lay foundations and pipework and how to manoeuvre plant.

Those learning will also have opportunities to be trained in the use of scaffolding at the college’s Construction Apprenticeship Training Centre (CAT) which is less than half a mile away.

Neil Thomas, chief executive and principal at Dudley College of Technology, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the WMCA to create this new facility to help tackle the skills shortage in plant operations for the construction industry.

“Construction training is a flagship element of the college’s provision, with hundreds of people undertaking training each year and this new centre adds to the £20m investment we have already made in facilities for this important sector.

“By training local people, we can make sure they benefit from the many infrastructure developments taking place in the region, while also contributing to the visible transformation of their area.”

Train 200 people by July 2020

Thomas added: “While it is early days for the plant training centre, which has only been up and running since November, we have had 100% success rate for the first group of learners with over 70% of them progressing directly into jobs and the remaining 30% going on to further technical training.

“Our intention is to train 200 people before July 2020, with the majority of these learners moving into work on significant projects in the region such as Midland Metro.”

To sign up for construction training, contact the National Careers Service West Midlands on 0121 296 5550, or you can find out more information about the National Careers Service via or by calling 0800 100 900.


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