Bradford College is up skilling the workforce of the future with a series of innovative courses that are designed to meet the needs of the construction industry.
The demand for maintenance on historic pre-1919 buildings has rocketed in the last few years and is now estimated to be worth a massive £4.7 billion nationally.
Many experienced construction worker have found themselves working on historic projects that require skills in traditional materials and methods. This has led to the development of the innovative new Heritage Skills course that is taking the Construction industry by storm. Explaining more about the programme, Kaz Roclawski, On-Site Assessment & Training (OSAT) Co-ordinator said: “The course is ideal for experienced tradesmen and companies that are involved in the renovation of historic properties. It’s a bespoke qualification, which means you can pick five units that suit your capabilities and job role. These include: lime building activities; timber repairs of sash windows; plastering skills using traditional materials; lead works and also traditional painting and decorating – so the course is tailored to meet your needs!”
Kaz continued: “We’re attempting to help up skill the existing Construction workforce by providing bespoke short courses that cover the skills and knowledge bases that are needed if we are to protect the historical buildings in the region and throughout England.”
As On-Site Assessment & Training (OSAT) Co-ordinator, Kaz has been instrumental in helping experienced tradesmen within the industry, gain a nationally recognised qualification for many years. Kas explained: “Through our onsite assessment & training, we can turn existing skills and experience into a nationally recognised qualification. Having these qualifications also helps qualify these experienced tradesmen for a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. Without it, you can’t get a job on any of the major construction sites.”
Kaz added: “We have a lot of experienced workers out there that are not qualified, and feel that academia and in house college training is not right for them. Our onsite assessment training delivers qualification to the tradesman in the workplace.”
Last year Bradford College was the first in the city to deliver a fully-accredited Plastering course. In the past, people have been forced to travel to Leeds or further afield to enrol on a course in the trade. The course has proved so popular that even the Bradford Bulls have expressed an interest in signing up for a short course in Plastering Awareness.
Following the success of the Plastering course, Bradford College and Bradford Council’s Links 2 Construction Team have joined forces to ensure more skilled trades’ people are available in Bradford when the UK emerges from recession. The Links 2 Team now has plans in the pipeline to fund further programmes, previously unavailable in Bradford. The Highway Maintenance, Construction Operations and Heritage Building Work are courses currently under development.
Kaz concluded: “We’ve been inundated with enquiries. We’re delighted to be doing our bit to protect our rich cultural heritage!”