Hartlepool company launches academy to train next generation of civil engineers
The UK’s newest academy to tackle a growing skills gap in construction and engineering has opened in Hartlepool.
The new venture from town firm Seymour Civil Engineering will train future and current civil engineers both locally and nationally by gaining certified qualifications in a partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council and Hartlepool College of Further Education.
It is the culmination of three years of planning by Seymours and Hartlepool Borough Council has leased the company an 11 acre site on Brenda Road.
The new academy will incorporate a wide range of training and skills including house building, surveying, planning, street works, plant and machinery training, horticulture, landscaping, tree surgery and general construction operative apprenticeships.
Academy Manager Niall Crosby said: "The initial vision of the academy was to help to go some way to closing the skills gap. Seymour wants to be able to offer quality learning for a range of age groups."The academy provides a one-stop-shop for employers to support their training needs across all aspects of construction and civil engineering.
“Being a large local employer, our offering will be dynamic, evolving in response to market needs and employers' requirements - ensuring highly trained staff have perfected their trades away from commercial pressures but in a real-life simulated environment. The opportunities that this academy brings are endless.
He added: "Hartlepool Borough Council has been instrumental in us realising our ambitious plan to provide a new state-of-the-art training academy.
“We are truly delighted that we have been able to create such an offering in our hometown and we hope it will go some way to putting the skills of the North-East on the map."
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council's Regeneration Services Committee, said: "The council is absolutely committed to doing all it can to ensure that our young people get the best start in their careers, so we were delighted to play a key role in the creation of this training academy.
"There is a shortage of skilled young people in the construction and civil engineering sectors in Hartlepool and thee wider Tees Valley and this ambitious partnership between the Council, Seymour Civil Engineering and Hartlepool College of Further Education will help to close that gap.
"This academy will provide both employment and training for employment, not only for Hartlepool but for the North-East. Working together, we are laying the foundations for many young careers in an industry which is vital to the financial prosperity of the town, the region and the country."
According to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) the industry needs to recruit more than 31,000 people every year to 2022, while research by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills suggests more than 750,000 people will leave the sector by 2024.
It is also feared that Brexit could result in the loss of a further 100,000-200,000 personnel.