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A North East training and apprenticeship provider has expanded its services with the addition of a construction training academy, which opened 25th June.

 

After being granted an increase to its adult education budget, Optimum Skills, based at Aycliffe Business Park, has chosen a site on Chesnut Street in Darlington to open its new academy.

 

Steve Kirsopp, director at Optimum Skills, said: “We’re delighted to have received the increased funding as this will enable us to help fill the construction skills gap. It’s a fantastic opportunity for unemployed people to not only enter this industry but to also set them on their way to sustainable employment with a new trade.”

 

“We chose Darlington as a location thanks to its fantastic links across Tees Valley and the wider County Durham area and we feel that we’re offering something different to other providers in the region.”

 

The academy will offer NOCN level one certificate in construction skills (covering bricklaying and joinery initially, with further trades to be added soon) and will also be used as a training base for apprentices in construction and related trades.

 

The initial aim is to reskill 60 people within the first three cohorts, which will take approximately three months. The students will have access to additional benefits including CSCS cards, PPE and free lunches, as well as a dedicated Welfare Support Officer; a qualified counsellor who is on hand to ensure their well-being. Once the students have completed the course, there will be options available to them including apprenticeship routeways.

 

Optimum Skills will provide additional life skills training, covering money management, working in a team, problem solving and effective communication – core competencies that employers are looking for.

 

For more information on Optimum Skills or the construction academy, see www.optimumskills.co.uk

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