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Home > News > April 2007 > 10 April 2007

National Skills Academy for Construction launched

A new, site-based approach to construction training has continued with the launch of a new National Skills Academy for Construction site at Newall Green High School in Wythenshawe.

Leaving the traditional 'bricks and mortar' model of an educational establishment behind, Newall Green is the second Academy site to be launched.

By 2010 it is expected that more than 30 National Skills Academy for Construction projects - supported by a fleet of mobile training centres - will be established on-site at construction projects throughout the UK.

The Newall Green launch was attended by Paul Goggins MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East. He said: "The National Skills Academy for Construction will help to develop on-the-job on-site training, and it will help to ensure that building projects leave a legacy of skills for the future. With business and Government in partnership we can raise skills levels across the economy, sector by sector, ensuring we can compete effectively in a rapidly changing globalised economy."

Developed with support from ConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for the construction industry, together with industry employers and education and training providers, the Construction Academy is part of the National Skills Academy programme, a Department for Education and Skills initiative that aims to drive up the standard of industry training and to improve productivity and tackle skills shortages across the UK.

Skills Minister Phil Hope said: "Raising skills is essential for our country. That is why we are putting employers at the heart of the National Skills Academy programme - working in partnership we will have a more highly trained and highly motivated work force for the future. I am delighted that the new National Skills Academy for Construction will be leading the way in the North West."

The Newall Green High School site is part of Manchester City Council's "Building Schools for the Future" programme, a project that involves Balfour Beatty, Manchester College of Arts and Technology and ConstructionSkills.

Mike Bialyj, field director at ConstructionSkills said: "The National Skills Academy for Construction is giving industry the training and support that it needs, where it needs it. The new mobile network will enable training on-site to cover the entire supply chain for each project. We see it as a 'win-win' situation, not only is it an opportunity to skill up local people for the construction industry it is also a way of developing sustainable communities."

Tony Ellender, Training Manager, Balfour Beatty Construction said: "By its very nature construction tends to be a hugely fragmented industry. The only place that everyone comes together is on a live construction site, so the fact that training will be focused on-site is very significant. Employer-led training is the only way to get it right and I believe that the National Skills Academy network truly recognises this."

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