Gateshead College secures £1.5m to help tackle “chronic skills shortage” in construction industries

Gateshead College has been awarded funds to help create new employment opportunities in the construction, engineering and built environment sector.

The college has successfully secured £1.5m in funding to establish BuildNE, a new initiative designed to enable long-term unemployed people across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland enter the workforce.

BuildNE aims to tackle the barriers people face to entering further education, training and the workplace. One of the key goals of the scheme is to provide greater access to sustainable and secure employment opportunities.

The project is also designed to meet a “chronic skills shortage” in roles such as labourers, joiners, maintenance workers, groundworkers, and road/rail infrastructure engineers.

It is specifically intended to support those aged 16 and above struggling to find jobs in the construction sector, especially females and those from BAME communities looking to enter or return to the industry.

Steve Logan, project director at Gateshead College, said: “We need to do more to create training opportunities for people to enter the North East construction sector so that we can address the large skills shortage across the industry.

“BuildNE provides a package of support, training, education and information that enables people currently unemployed and economically inactive to find a way to work, a way to return to employment or a new career direction.

“The project will not only create specific job opportunities for those who need them most, it will also help employers with skills development, providing workers with the appropriate training and skillset to carry out the job required.”

BuildNE includes the provision of advice sessions, taster sessions and training courses that deliver a broad range of work-ready skills for the construction, engineering and property sectors.

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