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29 November 2005

Sector Skills Agreement for South West England construction industry to tackle skills needs

The vision of a fully qualified construction industry, working innovatively to deliver maximum value South West England clients came a step closer this week with the launch of the Sector Skills Agreement (SSA), which puts employers squarely at the centre of decisions about the funding and delivery of training in construction.

The construction industry SSA, negotiated by ConstructionSkills, is a series of agreements between training providers, employers and government to address the construction industry’s current and future skills needs, such as increasing the number of young people completing construction apprenticeships. To deliver the SSA, ConstructionSkills has launched mini-SSA partnerships, for example 'Constructive Cornwall’, ‘Constructive Devon’ on a county basis throughout South West England.

Photograph of Stella Rose-Williams, Malcolm Gillespie, James Harris & Barry Griffiths

Stella Rose-Williams,
CITB-ConstructionSkills South West Area Manager, commented: “Our overriding aim is to ensure the qualifications, business support, training and funding infrastructures in South West England are such that the industry has the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time in order to meet client expectations on quality, time and cost.”

James Harris, Head of Skills at the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA), said: “There are lot of construction projects in the region which are either already underway or proposed. These projects help to regenerate the region and drive forward its economy. We welcome this joined-up approach which will ensure that people working in the region’s construction industry can access the right qualifications, business support, training and funding.”

Malcolm Gillespie, Regional Director, Learning and Skills Council South West, said:

“The many benefits that a skilled construction industry workforce can contribute to the client, employer and community agenda are crucial for the economic and social development of South West England. Initiatives that ensure dialogue and co-ordinate action with employers, providers and funding organisations provide the opportunity to make things happen.”

Current major projects in South West England include: the Bristol Broadmead and Bath centre regeneration, Bristol Arena and Temple Quays together with the Harbourside; in Somerset the MoD Bridgewater industrial site and also the regeneration of Plymouth and Exeter centres.

A survey conducted in 2004 revealed that in the South West, construction output is just under £6.7billion, providing employment for 182,037 people in the region.

For more information, please read the full press release.

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