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Kingdom Housing Association are taking steps to address the skills shortage gripping the construction industry by launching a Construction Academy.

As part of its affordable house building programme, Kingdom in collaboration with its main contractors, has already supported 22 apprenticeships and created an additional nine workplace opportunities. Kingdom’s delivery of its employment and training opportunities created through community benefit clauses in affordable housing contracts is supported by Fife Works.

Coordinator of Fife Works, Lynne Dunn, said: “Building on the previous successes of Kingdom and its contractors, we are pleased to announce that Fife Works will be running a Construction Academy to support the recruitment needs of existing and new affordable housing developments.”

An example of how people in the community have benefited form the scheme is Ross McCabe, a Kingdom tenant without a job but found work with Campion Homes after getting in touch with Fife Works. Fife Works organised training for Mr McCabe to gain a Construction Plant Competency card after identifying a shortage of plant machinery operators in the area. He was then offered work a job as a labourer with Campion Homes, which included plant machinery operation, allowing him to gain essential hours of experience of driving the machines.

Mr McCabe said: “I’m really thankful to the guys from Fife Works for supporting me to get through the plant operating training. Without the support to get through the training and help to actually get a job I wouldn’t be where I am today. Previously I had been working with agencies on short term contracts but now feel that I can use this training to build a career.”

Bill Banks, Kingdom Group’s Chief Executive, said: “New development projects provide opportunities to create community benefits as well as providing good quality affordable housing. The Construction Academy is an example of how we have been able to provide added value in terms of education, skills development and training, as part of our commitment to build strong communities.”

Source – UK Construction Online

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