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NHBC, the UK’s leading new home warranty and insurance provider, has unveiled its latest Training Hub at Keepmoat’s The Rise development in Scotswood, to support the next generation of skilled house builders in the North East.
Training more than 100 apprentices per year, with an initial focus on bricklaying, the purpose-built facility will immerse apprentices in a realistic working environment adjacent to the Scotswood regeneration site.
The NHBC Training Hub has been built in partnership with Keepmoat, New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC), Newcastle City Council and North of Tyne Combined Authority. It was officially opened on Thursday 1 December 2022.
This Hub is the second dedicated training facility built by NHBC – the first was launched in Tamworth in 2021 – and forms part of its ongoing commitment to support the next generation of house builders, equipping them with the skills to build high quality new homes. The scheme will train apprentices all year round with numerous cohort intakes throughout the year.
Speaking at the opening, NHBC Commercial Director, David Campbell said: “It’s vital we attract more young people into house building to help address skills shortages and the challenge of an ageing workforce.
“Our Training Hubs provide a realistic work environment where we can deliver an accelerated, front loaded, block release, homebuilding focused, bricklaying apprenticeship. Open to all house builders and their supply chain in the area, we look forward to doing our bit in tackling the skills shortage and equipping apprentices with the skills to build high quality new homes.”
The work is also part of Keepmoat’s ongoing commitment to combat the skills shortage in the area, whilst creating social value and a sustainable community in partnership with NHBC, NTWDC and Newcastle City Council, by generating opportunities in upskilling and employment close to The Rise.
Ian Worgan, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat, said: “We're extremely delighted to have the first apprentices starting their on-site experience at The Training Hub, and are excited to follow their journey to becoming the new generation of housebuilders. It's so rewarding to be able to help kick-start young people's careers in the construction industry, especially as we have witnessed a significant shortage in skilled labour in recent years, which makes this apprentice programme even more important.
“At Keepmoat we prioritise work experience and apprenticeships by committing to helping young people in the areas we develop, aiming to provide them with skills, knowledge and opportunities to succeed in long-term employment in housebuilding. We’re really proud to work in partnership with NHBC to deliver this incredible hands-on course, which will play an integral part in resolving the current shortfall in experienced bricklayers, as well the delivery of high quality, affordable homes in the future.”
NTWDC Director, Lee McGray added: “We are thrilled NHBC chose to build the Training Hub at The Rise, Scotswood, which we are confident will play a crucial role in tackling the current skills shortage and open the door to local youngsters looking to gain a qualification, work experience and a vocation.
“NTWDC is committed to providing local training and job opportunities and to date has improved access to employment, created 18 apprenticeship roles, safeguarded over 1,000 jobs and backed a number of school and non-development apprenticeships projects.”
Cabinet member for a Resilient City, Cllr Alex Hay, who has responsibility for skills and training, said: “This new skills centre sounds great. It couldn’t be better placed right next to The Rise, giving local people access to quality training.
“The Rise is one of the city’s most important developments. It’s providing much-needed homes for a growing city but also giving residents the chance to learn valuable construction skills that will not just launch their careers but give them the opportunity to earn a decent wage and spend it locally which is good for the local economy – not to mention tackle the national skills shortage.
“I’d like to thank NHBC for choosing Newcastle for their new centre. I wish all those who pass through its doors all the best in their careers.”
The Rise development is designed to breathe new life into the west of the city through a housing-led regeneration programme, which when complete will comprise of around 1,800 new homes with its own heating system and a neighbourhood centre, including community, retail and health provision space.