Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce will this week launch a Construction Group Training Association, a partnership with local authorities to create new apprenticeship jobs.
The Construction GTA will be a not-for-profit shared apprenticeship scheme, which aims to increase construction-sector apprenticeships by 500 within Greater Manchester over the next three years. Over 150 stakeholders, including representatives from local authorities, Transport for Greater Manchester, housing associations and the construction industry, will gather for the launch on Wednesday 15 February at The Lowry in Salford Quays.
Around 50 North West construction firms have already signed up to the project and all ten local authority chief executives have given their backing to the GTA. The initiative will be governed by a board of council representatives, plus a contractors' council of nominated industry representatives.
Callum Tuckett, UK head of construction at Laing O' Rourke and chairman of the contractors' council, said: "The construction industry is one of the UK's most important economic sectors. We contribute 8% to GDP and have the potential to offer long-term, varied and stimulating careers, helping to shape the future of our society. We see this collaborative effort as a vital step not only to secure the long-term future of our industry, but to drive sustainable economic benefits in our region. While trying to secure the long-term future of the three million people our industry already employs, we must focus on developing the right skills for the future. To do this, we must harness the collective power of our industry to explore where opportunities will lie, and jointly develop the skills that will be needed to fulfil those opportunities."
The apprentices will be initially employed by the GTA and provided with a placement for the 'on-the-job' training. When each placement comes to an end, the GTA will collaborate with the partners to ensure that the apprentices' training continues on another site.
Clive Memmott, chief executive of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: "Construction is an industry that has had difficulty with apprenticeships in the past, because many contracts only last for a limited period of time. The aim of the GTA is to bring contractors together to create a range of flexible work placements, enabling the Apprentice to work on more than one contract at a time whilst being employed by the GTA. This will give young people a greater number of opportunities to complete an apprenticeship, at a time when there are still skills shortages within the construction industry, and provide sustainability and stability for the future."