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Last updateThu, 23 Nov 2017 9am

Residents up-skill for construction jobs in Merseyside

A special training course developed between Merseylink, Riverside College and Halton Employment Partnership is helping local residents gain the knowledge and practical skills required for a career in construction.

Nine local people have completed the general construction operative training scheme, one of a series of pre-employment courses developed by Merseylink.

The construction consortium, which is building the new Mersey Gateway Bridge, designed the course to provide local people with opportunities to improve their employment prospects.

The first four weeks were spent with Halton Employment Partnership where trainees were given help and advice to help prepare them for the workplace. This included confidence building, teamwork, CV writing, mock interviews, and presentation tips.

Trainees then attended Riverside College for a week, where they had an introduction to working on large construction sites, plus health and safety and practical construction training at the College's brand new £3.6m Engineering and Construction Skills Centre.

The final week was based on site with Merseylink to gain valuable work experience on the Mersey Gateway Project. This involved a health and safety induction, a site tour, and on-the-job training with the bridge-builders specialist teams.

During the course, the trainees also achieved their Trainee Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) card, which was funded by Merseylink. The card is a key requirement for anyone working in the construction industry, as it proves that individuals working on construction sites have the required health, safety and environmental knowledge.

At the end of the course trainees were offered the opportunity to apply for a construction apprenticeship with Merseylink.

Neil Wilcock, Employment and Skills Coordinator for Merseylink, said: "We are proud to be working with Riverside College and Halton Employment Partnership to deliver this innovative scheme. The trainees have benefited from some fantastic learning experiences, both in and out of the classroom, and we are pleased to have been able to offer them the experience of working on a live construction project. This is one of four pre-employment courses that Merseylink has delivered this year, and we expect to run more courses like this during 2015."

Jayne Smith, Head of Skills and Enterprise at Riverside College, said: "The College is delighted to be supporting Merseylink in ensuring local residents have the opportunities and the right skills to gain employment on construction projects such as the Mersey Gateway Project."

Cllr Eddie Jones, Portfolio Holder Economic Development, said the training scheme would benefit local residents.

"Halton Borough Council is committed to working with its partners in developing creative, innovative schemes to the advantage of local people, and to promoting further economic development into the area and enhance the prosperity of the Borough," he said.

The economic, transport and social benefits the project will bring to the region include:

  • 470 permanent full-time equivalent jobs on site during construction
  • 4,640 permanent direct and indirect jobs
  • £61.9 million a year in Gross Value Added from the new jobs by 2030.

When it opens in 2017, both the new bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge will be tolled, but they will be free* to all Halton residents.