New facility in Wales brings scaffolding training to students
The Welsh construction sector is getting a welcome boost with plans by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) to build a new scaffolding training facility in Swansea Bay’s Fabian Way.
Upon completion, the £1.5 million facility will mean students in Wales can remain in the country to receive extensive scaffolding training instead of travelling all the way to England and beyond.
“CWIC and CITB have listened to the Welsh construction sector’s critical skills needs, invested accordingly and are looking forward to TRJ Ltd delivering the new scaffolding facility,” said CITB Wales Strategic Partnership Director Mark Bodger in a press release.
“It will mean that students in Wales will, at last, be able to receive comprehensive scaffolding training in their own country. The new facility will see the number of learners increase, it will become a launchpad from which students can start successful, satisfying construction careers.”
CITB or the Construction Industry Training Board is the statutory industry training board for the UK construction industry. The CWIC or Construction Wales Innovation Centre is a unique CITB-funded all-Wales training centre with its hub forming part of UWTSD’s SA1 Swansea Waterfront.
UWTSD Pro-Vice-Chancellor Skills and Lifelong Learning Barry Liles said the new facility will significantly impact skills training for workers within the scaffolding industry, which he said is “hugely important” to the Welsh economy.
“Access to such facilities and expertise through CWIC gives employers the confidence to develop their employees and to recruit new entrants into the industry,” he added.
Construction of the new facility will be led by the CWIC in partnership with the CITB. The South Wales-based TRJ (Thomas Richard Jones) is the leading UK scaffolding training company selected to deliver the job.
According to the media release, the facility to be based at a purpose-developed building is currently undergoing refurbishment to create the “Access Hall”, a 2,000 sq metre space that will include four classrooms, one with IT facilities, and nine training bays. The hall will be the only Construction Industry Scaffolding Record Scheme-approved (CISRS) facility in South Wales, delivering the full range of Working at Height training to new entrants, apprentices, up-skillers, supervisors and inspectors.
The CWIC also hopes to work with members of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) to ensure the facility is checking all the right boxes to meet the training and development needs of the scaffolding industry in Wales.
CWIC Director Gerald Naylor said the Welsh construction sector was “desperately” in need of a facility capable of delivering the full range of scaffolding training solutions to future workers. With TRJ’s expertise, however, he said this need will be met.
“TRJ has a long history of supporting quality training and CWIC is especially pleased they are carrying out the conversion works at the Swansea-based venue.”
The new facility will also help the CWIC build upon the delivery of its training courses and programmes that have spanned over three years.
During this period, nearly 408 activities have been delivered across Wales, supporting 691 Welsh employers and upskilling over 3,500 construction industry staff. The centre will continue to support industry through this programme by delivering courses from its Swansea-based hub to employers across Wales.
Work will commence on the new scaffolding training facility this December 6.