UK (University of Derby) Training provider for construction skills hub appointed

The University of Derby and Chesterfield College have been appointed as the training provider for the new Construction Skills Hub in Mastin Moor, which is set to provide specialist training for thousands of learners as part of the Staveley Town Deal.The innovative Construction Skills Hub will provide a practical platform for construction training, careers activity and work experience on a live construction site in Mastin Moor.

Over ten years, the hub aims to provide training, careers insights, and work experience for over 5,000 learners.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to announce that the college and university will be working together to support this project. As well as providing support for trade skills, this partnership provides the opportunity to progress to a university level and develop the skills needed for roles like quantity surveyor or estimator, ensuring that everyone in Staveley can start, stay, and grow in the town.

“I look forward to working with them and our partners the Devonshire Group to progress the development of the Hub and start welcoming learners in Autumn 2023.”

Professor Chris Bussell, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed the training provider, alongside Chesterfield College, for the new Construction Skills Hub, which will provide real-world learning opportunities to thousands of people looking to embark on a career in the construction industry or develop their skills so they can progress onto new roles.

“The Hub will enhance the existing construction training offer by providing the opportunity for local learners to develop their skills in a live on-site centre. Our ambition is for this to be ground-breaking, delivering a model that builds on the innovative approach of other such centres, and we are looking forward to developing our relationship with Chesterfield College as well as working with prominent private sector companies on this exciting project.

“As a Civic University, we are committed to supporting the city and county’s long-term economic growth and prosperity, improving the life chances of people, developing a pipeline of talent that choose to live and work in the area, and addressing the skills gap through our involvement in initiatives such as the Construction Skills Hub.”

A site has already been identified for the Construction Skills Hub in collaboration with the Devonshire Group, which will be bringing forward a new housing development in Mastin Moor. This will allow trainees to develop their skills on a live housing site, and in time there will also be opportunities to gain experience on other Staveley Town Deal construction projects.

Andrew Byrne, Property Development Director for Devonshire Group, said: “When I first saw the concept of a Construction Skills Hub and was asked if we could help deliver one for Chesterfield, my resounding response was yes, and I know just where.

“Devonshire Group are deeply committed to offering opportunities for learning and skills development, and to making a real difference to the lives and employment prospects of those in our communities, so we are delighted to be able to assist the Council in providing a home for the Skills Hub. Supporting the next generation of people who will help create our built environment is something to be truly proud of.”

Initially the Skills Hub will provide training in site and bench joinery, brickwork, ground works and electrical installation but in time the offer will expand to include training in retrofit and green technologies. It will be open to school leavers and other residents seeking to train or retrain.

Gavin Varley, Director of Advanced Engineering, Building Technologies and Construction at The Chesterfield College Group, explains: “We make a commitment to our students to not only provide them with the skills and qualifications they need, they are just the start, but with the work experience and industry knowledge that gives them the clarity of how and where to progress their career for years to come. We’re delighted to be a partner of this project as it comprehensively addresses this wider student experience, we commit to providing for all.”

Working on a live construction site will not only allow learners to develop the skills they need, but it will also provide practical experience and help provide a link to construction companies where they could find permanent roles.

Staveley is set to benefit from £25.2 million of investment through the Town Deal with the aim to create a town where everyone can start, stay and grow. This investment will support eleven different projects across the town and provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to help shape the future by improving transport links, creating new housing, providing skills for local people, enhancing community facilities, and regenerating the town centre.

Find out more about Staveley Town Deal on the Chesterfield Borough Council website.

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