Northumberland College is hoping to help turn around the fall in the take-up of construction apprenticeships and lessen the skills shortage in the industry.
The Chartered Institute of Building recently announced that approximately 157,000 new recruits are required by 2021 to keep up with demand.
Working with the likes of Bernicia and Taylor Wimpey, the college’s purpose-built construction academy offers state-of-the-art workshop facilities and complements vocational-based training.
Opportunities have also been created for students to learn specialist heritage skills. This has been welcome news, especially for organisations working on older buildings, using traditional craft techniques or alternative raw materials, and has helped to plug and industry skills gap, especially in Northumberland.
Academy head Paul Richmond said: “Employers, especially those who provide niche construction services, often find themselves struggling to find the right candidates for employment, so by giving our learners a complete insight into the industry across all trades, we can reduce the skills gap and offer well-rounded training.
“Our construction academy opened in 2014 and because of the quality of facilities, we can provide a full overview from traditional, highly skilled craftsmanship and long-standing working methods to use of modern techniques, the latest technologies and new equipment.
“For areas like Northumberland where construction could include farm or agricultural-based projects in more rural areas, this is definitely an added bonus and a boost to the local economy through greater employment opportunities.”