College opens up new ‘digger school’ scheme

Partners and employers at the initial briefing for the CETC - 'digger school'
Partners and employers at the initial briefing for the CETC - 'digger school'
Apprentices at Fareham College's new Civil Engineering Training Centre

Dad Peter shows apprenticeships are for everyone

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BUDDING young construction workers have been given the chance to find skilled employment within five months.

The Civil Engineering Training Centre (CETC) is running a civil engineering and groundworks apprenticeship, which has been nicknamed ‘Digger School’.

The apprenticeship is targeted at preparing young people and adults for a career in civil engineering and building.

‘Digger School’ is being supported by 13 construction companies – with the course specifically designed to teach apprentices all the skills they need for life in the construction industry.

Every successful apprentice will be offered a full-time permanent position at the end of their apprenticeship.

Fareham College, which has organised the scheme, says that there is a real need for construction companies to access young, full-time employees who already have all the key skills needed.

Fareham College principal Nigel Duncan said: ‘With over £15bn worth of construction-based development in Hampshire over the next five years, this is an exciting opportunity to develop a bespoke civil engineering apprenticeship programme.

‘The curriculum that will be delivered provides a basic training period to ensure apprentices are equipped with the relevant skills, certifications and licences to hit the ground running when they enter into full time employment.

‘We are delighted to be working with the Solent Civil Engineering Employers’ Group to deliver this exciting apprenticeship programme and to support the industry in finding a local solution for a critical skills shortage.’

Mark Wells, chairman of the SCEEG, says that the scheme is really important for construction companies across Hampshire.

He said: ‘This scheme will create around 180 jobs each year.

‘It is a great opportunity for young people, but also for adults who are looking to retrain or gain additional bespoke training.

‘I can’t stress enough how good it is to have young people go straight into employment with so many skills at their disposal.

‘In the next three years, the construction industry is going to boom, but at the same time – according to research from the Solent LEP – there is a major skills shortage.

‘What we need is to have as many people sign up for the scheme as possible, because this is an enormous opportunity for people.

‘School leavers, college and university graduates and adults from all walks of life are welcome.’

For more information on the CETC ‘Digger School’ scheme, go to fareham.ac.uk/courses/cega/.