The Onsite Experience hubs are designed to provide training linked to work experience and jobs to ensure learners are site ready.
The programme is a joint initiative of Kier, Cardiff Council, Procure Plus and Cyfle Building Skills, with Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) backing. The CITB stumped up £3.6m, covering more than half the total cost.
Over the three years of the programme, hubs providing coverage in southeast, southwest and north Wales expect to deliver more than 5,200 onsite experience placements, enabling more than 2,000 people to become employment and site-ready before being linked directly to local employers with construction job vacancies.
The hubs are targeting at least 875 people to enter into sustained employment. People who do not immediately secure employment through their hub will continue to receive support and signposting and should have gained the skills needed to pursue a career in construction and increase their employability.
CITB Wales partnerships director Mark Bodger said: “This investment is a boon for Welsh construction and will address the issue many employers have in struggling to find new staff who are ready to go straight onto the building site. Ensuring that the next generation of our construction workers are ready will not only benefit the sector, but also the economy and communities across Wales.”
Cyfle Building Skills runs the southwest Wales On Site Hub. Regional manager Anthony Rees said that it had already given 70 learners from the region an opportunity to work on construction sites in the first three months of the programme.
He said: “The hub will create opportunities for young people to work alongside experienced mentors and engage with a wide network of contractors ranging from large to SME to micro employers. The initiative will create new job opportunities and much valued apprenticeships for the construction sector in Wales.”