July 25, 2021

2021 off to a bright start for skills in the South-West: Sherford secures future for careers in construction

The future of Sherford Skills Training Centre has been secured thanks to recent funding from the Construction Industry Trade Board (CITB). Awarded for the commitment to improving the industry’s current skills shortage, the skills centre is now set to continue offering specialist training to those in the South-West and beyond.

The funding has been granted for an ‘Onsite Experience Project’ from 2021 to 2023. It will enable the town’s dedicated skills centre to build a lasting legacy for the region’s construction industry by filling workforce gaps and providing new employment opportunities. Training programmes and on-site work experience will develop skills in drylining, plastering, rendering and painting – delivered by education partner City College Plymouth, with support from South Devon College and Plymouth Construction Training Group.

The creation of the £370,000 centre and the Sherford Skills Training Scheme was funded by the Sherford Consortium – a partnership between Taylor Wimpey and Vistry Partnerships, which includes Linden Homes and Bovis Homes. Opening its doors in 2018, the training centre has supported the training and development of over 100 apprentices, supported armed service leavers, helped create over 280 jobs, and offered its users the opportunity to retrain and upskill across trades.  

Learning professional quality skills, course participants benefit from the guidance of expert mentors, as well as gaining insights into the industry from Sherford’s award-winning housebuilders and team of local contractors. From aiding new entrants with apprenticeship training, to dedicated courses for veterans, the skills centre opens doors of opportunity to anyone looking to begin a career in construction.

Guided through every stage, participants are even offered support in finding employment, with networking events a part of every course. A valuable chance to meet and speak with leading local employers, the course has helped many participants find their first step towards employment. Many standout students have been offered jobs with Sherford’s local contractors, giving them a chance to share their passion and specialist skills to contribute to this new community. 

Bradley Davison, Managing Director of Vistry Partnerships South West, part of the Sherford Consortium, said: “We are dedicated to supporting skills and training, so we are extremely proud that Sherford Skills Training Centre has been recognised for the positive opportunities it provides. We are completely committed to supporting the region and its construction industry – and we are also deeply passionate about helping people pursue a rewarding career.”

Steven Ricketts, Sherford Skills Training Scheme Coordinator, added: “We are over-the-moon to have received CITB funding, so that we can continue to offer specialist training and support to the South West right here at Sherford. It is so rewarding to see so many of our graduates go on to find their dream job and to know that, in return, they are strengthening the future of the industry and having a positive impact on the region.”