New construction training initiative launched in the North East

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Training provider NCT Skills for Life has launched a new initiative to tackle unemployment in the North East and increase the rate of skilled construction workers…

A new initiative in the North East will offer opportunities for school leavers in the North East to develop construction skills.

The Joint Enterprise Forces-Construction Employability Pathway (JEF-CEP) is an initiative run by training provider NCT Skills for Life (NCT) and the Armed Forces. It will offer young people leaving school the opportunity to gain the skills needed to gain a Level One certificate in Multi-Trade Construction. This includes skills such as woodwork, plastering, bricklaying, and roofing.

The initiative will be available for 240 young people and aims to develop skills such as team building, communication and self-discipline. It will also give candidates the qualifications to move into an apprenticeship.

NCT managing director Patricia Wilkinson said: “Up and down the country there is concern about young people and their ability to leave school, at whatever age, and contribute to society by finding and maintaining a job.

“It would appear that some schools are struggling to arm pupils with the requisite soft skills with which to find and maintain gainful employment. This is why we have decided on this collaborative approach with the Armed Forces.

“Our innovative scheme will put 240 school leavers through their paces for 12 weeks. During this time, they will spend five days at Kingswood residential activity centre in Hexham, where they will experience skill-building exercises with the Armed Forces. Following that, they will come in to our dedicated training centre and receive basic construction skills training.”

The North East has the highest unemployment rate across England, with some 7.9 per cent of people out of work. It is hoped the JEF-CEP scheme will help get some young people into employment.

She added:  “Courses such as JEF-CEP deliver a targeted provision to develop a school leaver in such a way so as to round off their skill set, before they embark on an apprenticeship.

“With an acknowledged skills shortage across construction nationally, local firms need to seriously consider taking on apprentices to ensure their continued success and contribute to the local workforce. Local firms cannot survive without these skills, and it is time they gave back to their local community, for everybody’s benefit.”

Lieutenant Colonel Andy Black of the 4th Infantry Brigade in Catterick also commented: “JEF-CEP is a great scheme and we are delighted to be working alongside NCT.

“The course and in particular, the residential element of the programme will really test the candidates, giving them the experience of working outside of the work place, creating rounded and multi-skilled citizens.

“We look forward to putting the candidates through their paces whilst also contributing to their growth as a future workforce.”

The scheme is open to young people between 16 and 19. To get involved in JEF-CEP contact the NCT.

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