Plant equipment training made possible following GBSLEP grant

25th June 2020

Solihull College & University Centre has received a grant from the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) to assist in training students to fill much needed skills shortages in the region.

The College is working in partnership with RMF Construction on a programme in Dickens Heath, Solihull, to train unemployed people in construction skills. The training is funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Construction Gateway initiative. The new GBSLEP grant for plant equipment will also be used at the extensive 22-acre site, where RMF train learners on groundworks, rail and both small and large plant qualifications.

The new plant equipment will increase the capacity and widen the variety of skills that will enable people to secure employment on construction sites and elsewhere.

Mick Nicholl, Head of Woodlands Campus at the College, commented: “This new construction plant and equipment will form the platform for training new entrants and upskilling existing employees to fill emerging skills gaps in the construction industry. The investment in these physical resources is to augment the partnership between the College and industry which has, over the last two years, delivered training that has transformed the lives of many of the region’s residents.”

Raphael McGee, Managing Director at RMF Construction Services Ltd, added: “The GBSLEP grant funding furthers RMF’s ability to provide high quality training and employment opportunities to local residents through the WMCA’s Construction Gateway initiative in collaboration with Solihull College & University Centre. We are working closely with employers and industry partners to make training an immediate progression into employment, with employers coming at the end of training programmes to interview and offer employment to people.

“The newly acquired plant equipment assists RMF in filling skills gaps on large infrastructure projects such as HS2 with a workforce that is trained locally and from socially inclusive backgrounds, all the while highlighting the benefits of collaboration within the region.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the WMCA, added: “The construction industry will be key to driving our post-Covid-19 economic recovery, and through the Construction Gateway initiative we are determined to equip local people with the skills needed to help the region to build its way out of the lockdown.

“It’s great news that the GBSLEP is investing in new plant equipment for the Construction Gateway programme at Dickens Heath, which means more local people will be learning advanced construction skills on the latest machinery and moving into long-term skilled employment.”

Find out more about the College's Construction courses: Construction