Blackburn College and Capita team up to help fill skills gap in construction industry

Blackburn College and Capita Local Government have teamed up to address the shortage of architects and planners in the construction industry.

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Dr Thomas Moore, principal and chief executive of Blackburn College, and Ian Richardson, Blackburn with Darwen partnership director from Capita have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the partnership.

Both the College and Capita were concerned about the skills shortage in the construction industry, and decided to team up to tackle the problem head on.

The partnership will help students have a greater knowledge of the sector as well as providing them with the skills to help them gain a job.

This is being done through the creation of an apprenticeship programme, as well as Capita providing student placements, internships and work experience.

Students will also be given workshops run by Capita specialists, and will be trained in Building Information Modelling processes (BIM), programmes which are used to create 3D designs of buildings.

Nick Hall, business engagement manager at Blackburn College who was involved in setting up the Memorandum of Understanding said: “Capita is a major employer in Blackburn, which has been working alongside Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council for the past 15 years to help transform the borough into the kind of place that local people and businesses want it to be.

“We both share the ambition to address skill shortages in the construction industry, particularly in terms of architects and planners, and Blackburn College is thrilled to be working with them with this goal in sight.

Ian Richardson, partnership director for Capita, said: “We are thrilled to sign this agreement with Blackburn College. It is vital for the future of the construction industry that we invest in the skills and training of our young people. “We look forward to developing the new apprenticeship, work experience and internship programmes with the College – and to working with staff and pupils on their construction and Building Information Modelling curriculum.”