NHBC, the UK’s leading warranty and insurance provider for new build homes, has unveiled a new ‘Training Hub’ in the West Midlands which it will use to help develop the next generation of skilled tradespeople starting out in house building.
The NHBC Training Hub in Tamworth has been built in partnership with Redrow and Tamworth Borough Council, with input from an industry working group.
The Training Hub, which will be able to support more than 100 apprentices annually, is a purpose-built facility that will immerse apprentices in a realistic working environment. It was officially opened on yesterday (Thursday 20 May) by Minister of State for Housing and MP for Tamworth, Chris Pincher.
Bricklaying has been chosen as the initial focus for the Training Hub due to the shortage of skilled bricklayers in the house building sector, which has been compounded by the pandemic.
The site is next to an active Redrow development and resembles a typical site compound, with a large covered central space for practical work alongside high-specification classrooms and welfare facilities.
The first cohort of new apprentices will be welcomed at the Training Hub on Monday 24 May 2021.
Speaking at the opening, NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said: “It gives me great pleasure to be able to launch the new NHBC Training Hub. By doing so, NHBC is addressing vital skills’ gaps in the industry and providing brand new employment opportunities for young people.
“Our commitment to developing the next generation of house builders aligns with the Government’s ‘Build Back Better’ campaign to support economic growth and I look forward to seeing many apprentices successfully pass through the Training Hub in the coming years.”
Housing Minister, Rt Hon Chris Pincher MP, said: “I am very pleased to open NHBC’s Training Hub which will train the next generation of bricklayers and will help directly address the skills shortage in the house building sector. Apprenticeships and traineeships ensure people have the skills they need to get a well-paid job. They play a key part in the Government’s Plan for Jobs, designed to protect, support and create jobs for all ages as we build back better from the pandemic.”
Karen Jones, Group HR Director at Redrow, commented: “We are thrilled to be working in collaboration with NHBC and Tamworth Borough Council to provide vital training space for our industry’s budding young skilled professionals. We know that frequent changes to site location and the travel implications this brings acts as a barrier for many in completing their apprenticeship. In providing this long-term training hub we are providing stability and security for many young people.
“Apprentices can play a vital role in ‘building back better’ following the worst of the pandemic, and they will be critical in tackling the skills gap and helping to deliver the homes and infrastructure the country needs. It’s important that as an industry we continue to support those coming through the ranks in any way we can.”
Anna Miller, Tamworth Borough Council’s Assistant Director for Growth and Regeneration, added: “We are delighted to be supporting this Training Hub to train new housebuilders. This will be an excellent opportunity for local apprentices, the first in the country for NHBC and a flagship for other similar sites in the future.”
The 18-month programme is delivered through concentrated blocks of training, focusing apprentices on the key skills needed in house building. Its modular nature means that, after only a few weeks, apprentices will be able to contribute positively on active sites.
The scheme will train apprentices all year round with numerous cohort intakes throughout the year.
NHBC became a registered apprenticeship provider last September and, to date, more than 100 candidates have joined its Construction Site Supervisor apprenticeship programme.