Media release - issued 21 Dec 2017

Construction training programme helping people gain the skills needed for work

Ten local job seekers have been helping to convert a disused office building to flats as part of the latest Skilled Up project organised by Rushmoor Borough Council.

Skilled Up construction training programme

The group has been fully involved in the conversion work in Aldershot and had the chance to develop new skills in joinery, carpentry, bricklaying and general site labouring tasks in a scheme funded by Wates Construction. A major benefit of taking part in the programme is the provision of employment support and funding towards industry-recognised qualifications. This includes the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) green card, which is a requirement of employment on any construction site.  

Wates Construction has funded the programme as part of an employment and skills agreement with Rushmoor Borough Council. The agreement is linked to the development of the Farnborough International Conference Centre, providing 12 places on the Skilled Up programme.

As part of the agreement, seven Skilled Up participants visited the conference centre, which is under construction and scheduled to open next spring. The group had a full health and safety briefing ahead of visiting the construction site to see first-hand how important the use of safety equipment is on a live site. Afterwards, the group met with Wates employees, hearing about their career pathways and about life in the construction industry.  

Skilled Up is one of a range of local employment support programmes available in the Aldershot and Farnborough to help residents get the skills and confidence they need to find employment. More than 80 of those involved in the programme over the years have now secured employment.  

Councillor Ken Muschamp, Rushmoor Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Business, Safety and Regulation, said: "The feedback I have received since we have been running Skilled Up courses is excellent. Many people who volunteer for the course end up with jobs in the construction industry because they've show the commitment to pick up new skills and secure a future for themselves. I would encourage anyone who is currently looking for work to consider signing up for one of our Skilled Up courses."

Alec Jackman, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction Southern Home Counties, said: "The Skilled Up programme is a fantastic initiative for anyone needing support to find employment, as it offers them the chance to learn vital skills as well as a key trade. The team enjoyed showing those taking part around our Farnborough International project site and also speaking to them about what a career in construction entails. 

"We would like to thank Rushmoor Borough Council for running this programme and we hope to help with more Skilled-up programmes in the future."

Skilled Up is open to anyone currently unemployed and over 18. The courses generally run for four half days a week for a month on a voluntary basis, so benefits will not be affected.

Anyone who would like to know more or register for the next course, which starts on 22 January, should contact 0774 868 9434 or email

Skilled Up construction training programme at the Farnborough International Conference Centre

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