Welsh construction specialists Kier have this week revealed the success of their skills initiative, which provides training and career opportunities within the built environment.
The scheme, put in place to tackle the skills shortage facing the South Wales construction industry, has led to 45 individuals moving into full time employment, organised work experience placements for 56 young people and recruited 42 apprentices across five projects in the region. Kier colleagues have also volunteered almost 1,400 hours working in the community.
Working with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Kier has also launched an Education and Engagement Programme and held a skills networking event in Swansea with over 40 key partners that have been critical in its skills initiative, including the Construction Wales Innovation Centre, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the Chartered Institute of Building.
Craig Archard, 25 from Swansea, benefited from the skills programme at Kier. Craig moved to Swansea after serving in the Royal Marines for five years. He applied for a site management apprenticeship and started working with the company in in July 2017 on the S4C development. Since then, Craig has completed an NVQ Level 4 qualification and was also nominated for ‘apprentice of the year – technical’ in the G4C Wales Awards.
“Being one of the largest construction companies within South Wales, I have seen what it takes to run large sites. Specifically, I have enjoyed being part of a team, problem solving and creating a building that will be part of the community for years to come. It is definitely the career I have been looking for and would recommend Kier to anyone thinking of going into the industry.”
Jason Taylor, operations director for Kier Construction Wales, said:
“Working collaboratively with organisations such as Careers Wales, The Prince’s Trust, CITB, our skills initiative has been a real success, with many people who’ve taken part in work experience or apprenticeships securing full-time employment, whilst others have learnt how interesting and rewarding a career within the built environment is – which is key to dealing with the skills shortage our industry currently faces.
“Since launching our office in Swansea in 2016, we have worked hard to build relationships with local communities across the region and we are committed to leaving a lasting legacy in South Wales.”
Kier is working on a number of high-profile projects in the area, including the Swansea Innovation Quarter SA1, Yr Egin a creative and digital hub and new home for S4C in Carmarthen, The Grove Synthetic Chemistry Building and IMPACT Research Building on Swansea Bay Campus, and multiple complex schemes for Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Local Health Board.