City & Guilds and EAL, the specialist awarding organisation for manufacturing and engineering, have launched a new suite of construction and building services engineering qualifications in Wales. These qualifications have been carefully developed to not only prepare individuals for working in these sectors, but to also better meet the industry skills.
City & Guilds and EAL worked closely with leading experts to ensure these reformed qualifications were not only fit for purpose but more importantly that they offer career progression and future employment opportunities.
The qualifications are being delivered at Bridgend College based in Wales in collaboration with developer, Persimmon Homes Wales.
Angharad Lloyd Beynon, Policy, Stakeholder and Partnerships Manager at City & Guilds said: “Together with EAL, we are empowering people with the skills needed to gain opportunities in the construction industry. These new qualifications will allow people to forge a career in construction with clear progression routes. Our strong relationship with Bridgend College and Persimmon Homes has allowed many young people to gain an apprenticeship with Persimmon homes after successfully completing their Level 2 Foundation in Construction and Building Services Engineering qualification.”
The collaboration between Bridgend College and Persimmon Homes started in 2017 when the initial intake was 10 learners. Over the years that number has expanded to include carpentry and bricklaying apprenticeships.
These new qualifications have a simple, clear progression route that equips learners for further study and progression while gaining industry-standard skills and experience at the same time.
Rachel Edmonds-Naish, Head of Curriculum STEM at Bridgend College said: “These new qualifications give learners a much broader scope of opportunities than what has gone before covering construction, building services and engineering sector. Instead of just learning their trade, they learn two trades initially, and about the wider context of what it means to be working in the construction sector. Learners are tasked with planning a whole project and evaluating it themselves. They’re assessed in a holistic way rather than task by task which is different to other qualifications like this.”
The new qualifications are supporting Persimmon Homes Wales to home-grow the talented workers their business needs, ensuring a sustainable business model and retaining talent in this pivotal sector.
Carl Davey, Regional Quality Director, at Persimmon in Wales said: “We have built a successful relationship with Bridgend College over recent years engaging with students from full time programmes and offering the opportunity to advance into the industry through our apprenticeship programme.
“Our model very much mirrors the new qualification structure and we hope that the new qualification will deliver the same opportunities to young people and the quality of candidate that we have engaged with through our partnership with the college.”
Betty Lee, Apprentice Carpenter at Bridgend College said: “I would recommend the foundation course to others because it’s a good way to get into construction and it’s also a starting block for you if you want to progress. You can go on to do level two, level three, or even go on to do a management course afterwards. I’m thinking about doing the management course, or even starting my own business.”
While it’s fair to say that these new qualifications not only offer clear progression pathways and career routes – the hallmarks of building better futures, it’s equally fair to say that the future of Construction and Building Services Engineering qualifications in Wales is now in the very skilled and ambitious hands of its apprentices laying not only the foundations for industry-standard construction but also better pathways for their own bright futures.