New training centre wins job offers for students

Dominic Browne

Winvic Construction Lt and IM Properties, have welcomed the first learners inside a new ‘Future of Construction’ training centre at Mercia Park, Leicestershire.

The centre reflects the two companies’ joint intention to make a 'difference to local people’s lives through social value initiatives, which includes a focus on bringing forward training and employment opportunities'.

The training centre comprises an onsite construction training facility with practical outdoor space. It is not only available for Winvic and but also its subcontractors, as well as colleges, universities and specialist training providers in the construction industry.

All seven participants on the inaugural traffic management training course impressed so much they were offered employment with various traffic management contractors, Winvic said.

This vocational course was facilitated by traffic management training specialist Vocation Training Ltd with support to deliver technical qualifications from Up To Speed Training and Assessment, and practical assessments from TSM, who is one of Winvic’s traffic management subcontractors.

The participants were trained over a four-week period and one of the job roles offered – a trainee operative position accepted by Anthony Land – is with TSM at Mercia Park.

Winvic specialises in the design and delivery of multi-sector construction and civil engineering projects, while IM Properties is a longstanding client.

The developer has provided the land at its Mercia Park site while Winvic funded the training centre as part of their social value commitments.

The construction training facility includes a classroom, kitchen and bathroom facilities in addition to an outdoor space enabling contractors and training providers to set up practical training scenarios as opposed to relying on models and videos to teach.

Danny Nelson, Winvic’s director for industrial, distribution and logistics, commented: 'We’re currently speaking to local and regional education and training providers about making use of the centre and we have a number of our subcontractors lined up, excited to have a significant and flexible space at their disposal to deliver practical and theoretical training.

'Construction and vocational training go hand-in-hand – as we know through the apprenticeship and Year In Industry placements we offer – and we believe this Centre is a glimpse into the future how the industry will gain the skilled people it needs.'

Kerry Amory, IM Properties’ social value manager, said: 'We know the difference a bespoke facility will make, having witnessed the positive results on our other Leicestershire scheme, Hinckley Park. We’ve drawn on our experience from Hinckley to enhance the employment and skills opportunities at Mercia, which is crucial to us as a business and industry and integral to the delivery of Mercia Park.

'We are currently in discussions with local FE colleges and third-party training providers to encourage them to use the new facility and have two further courses booked later in September. We would urge anyone interested in booking the facility to get in touch.'

Helen Madden, at Vocation Training, said: 'It’s an amazing facility and the best that we’ve ever had access to in relation to outdoor space, as its size allows for real-life working conditions to be assembled and practical scenarios carried out, and also because candidates get to experience the feel of a live construction site environment. It was clear that this hugely benefited the traffic management training participants over the course of the training and it’s great news that all seven of them gained employment.'

Richard Turbill, operations director at TSM, added: 'Delivering the training was straightforward and efficient because the outdoor area is so spacious, and all the participants were able to get hands-on and therefore learn more quickly.'

Winvic delivered vast civils and infrastructure works to facilitate the 238-acre employment park and is now constructing 2.94 million sq ft global parts logistics centre for Jaguar Land Rover and 550,000 sq ft facility comprising a modern warehouse, cross-dock and offices for global transport and logistics company DSV.

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