Across a series of hubs in England, the Construction Skills Fund (CSF) trained nearly 20,000 people and helped more than 6,000 gain sustained employment in construction.
This has allowed employers to increase in their workforce and fill gaps by recruiting specially-trained workers who have come straight from school, unemployment, or have changed career.
But how has this impacted individuals? We’re shedding a light on some of the scheme’s most successful projects and introducing you to some of the workers, trainers and employers who have benefited from this valuable scheme.
Battersea Power Station, London
Battersea Power Station is one of the largest new developments taking place in central London. The iconic Grade II* listed building and surrounding area is being developed as a vast, vibrant new neighbourhood.
In line with employer demand, the CSF has upskilled workers in roles varying from hoisting, to surveying and logistics to contribute to this development.
We’ve gathered some stories of the people who have experienced the scheme firsthand.
Colin - hoist driver and CSF trainee
- Found himself unemployed in his 60s
- Referred to the Battersea Power Station development by the Workmatch scheme at his local Jobcentre after expressing an interest in construction, a sector he’d started off in before changing careers
- Didn’t want a job that was too physically demanding, so was pointed to a role as a hoist driver
- Undertook two weeks of training, secured a blue CSCS card and is now working as a hoist driver at the Battersea development
- Despite his age, he feels well respected onsite and his higher wage means he has a better standard of living
- Feels he’s found a career that he can stay in until retirement and beyond.
“I feel like I’ve done something with my day.”
Colin, hoist driver
Gareth - recruiter
- Works as a logistics manager for Clipfine, a contractor working at Battersea Power Station
- Requires a steady flow of newly-trained operatives, so has benefitted hugely from the CSF scheme
- Meets new recruits individually for a face-to-face induction, where he explains what to expect and what is expected of them
- Has received excellent feedback about the quality and enthusiasm of new recruits coming straight from the CSF programme.
Phil - CAD surveyor and CSF trainee
- Has autism and dyslexia and had been unemployed for seven months before a friend working at Battersea Power Station suggested he trained in construction
- Enrolled, undertook a week’s training and gained a CSCS card
- His trainers were fully supportive of his additional needs and helped instil Phil with a sense of belief in his skills
- Started work as a CAD technician and was promoted to 3D surveyor after his probation period
- Feels much more confident in his role and hopes to become a 3D CAD technician in the future.
Tom - CSF training instructor
- Offers health and safety training for people looking to start a career in construction
- Runs two-day courses covering fire safety, working in confined spaces and working safely at height
- Provides training that is relevant for a wide variety of construction-related careers, for those who do or don’t know which area of the industry they want to get into
- Finds his job rewarding, particularly when he sees people he’s trained move forward and begin successful careers in the industry.
“The more training you have, the more opportunities that open up.”
Tom, HSS training instructor
Tony - logistics operative and CSF trainee
- Turned 50 and wanted to try a new role after a career in the care sector
- Always wanted to work in construction and found out about the opportunity at a local job fair - he was in training a few days later
- Now works as a logistics operative at Battersea Power Station, finding space for construction materials as they are delivered to the site
- Despite his age, his training has allowed him to show that he’s still capable.
The Building Block CSF Training Hub, Sheffield
Sheffield’s ambitious home-building scheme will see the construction of more than 10,000 new homes across the city over a decade. In order to meet the demand for skills, hundreds of new jobs are being created in the local construction sector.
CSF training is provided by The Building Block, a training hub offering work experience and crash courses in a range of trades, as well as CSCS card training.
Discover the stories below to find out how this scheme is opening doors and changing lives.
Amir - plumber’s mate and CSF trainee
- Came to the UK from Iran to build a better life for his family and find a fulfilling career in a trade he knew
- Volunteered in building maintenance to improve his English, then was referred to The Building Block for CSCS training and a course in general construction skills
- The variety of training allowed him to find a trade he loved and he chose to pursue plumbing
- Now works as a plumber’s mate in Sheffield and feels that his life has improved in every way
- Listen to Amir tell his story and how his life has been transformed as a result of the CSF training he received.
“I’ve improved most of the things in my life.”
Amir, plumber’s mate
Davey - labourer and CSF trainee
- Became a mechanic straight out of school but wanted a career change aged twenty-three
- Looked for opportunities in construction and was referred to The Building Block to receive some general training
- Felt the trainers were friendly and knowledgeable and enjoyed the teamwork involved
- Has had a chance to work in several different construction roles and is continuing training whilst working as a labourer
- Has high hopes for the future and wants to become a tradesman in bricklaying or drylining.
Vill - CSF course facilitator
- Works as a course facilitator at The Building Block, managing training for CSCS cards and health and safety
- Has been involved with many employability schemes but feels the CSF training is the most beneficial for individuals in terms of gaining skills and finding work
- Has witnessed firsthand how his training has improved people’s prospects and turned their lives around
- Receives lots of positive feedback from employers and the quality of recruits who have been through the training.
“We’ve not had a course yet where someone’s not been employed full time, long-term by one of the contractors.”
Vill, course facilitator
Want to get involved?
Are you looking to fill gaps in your workforce? Or you are hoping to join the construction industry?
The Construction Skills Fund has now finished, but you can get in touch with one of our new Onsite Experience hubs in England and Wales to advise on next steps, whether you're an employer or someone looking for work.