Skills Minister John Hayes has opened a new training academy set up by leading support services provider Carillion.
The Bedford Training Academy specialises in green energy such as solar PV installations. It is establishing itself as a key provider of skills for the future, including apprenticeship frameworks for the “Green Deal” to benefit both new and existing employees.
With around 50,000 employees worldwide and over 25,000 in the UK, Carillion is a major employer committed to supporting apprenticeships and to providing its workforce with the skills and qualifications they need. Currently over 10% of Carillion’s existing UK workforce is being supported in achieving a first or further vocational qualification.
During his visit Mr Hayes met a number of trainees and saw a demonstration of solar PV installation.
He was also told how Carillion is working closely with strategic partners such as Jobcentre plus, Business Action on the Homeless and Princes Trust to further help jobseekers. Carillion is also talking to Work Programme providers on how to use its access to jobs and in-house expertise on training and qualifications to tackle issues of youth unemployment.
Mr Hayes said: “This Academy will both secure a better future for hundreds of people each year and provide the training and skills to put the UK at the forefront of the World’s emerging low carbon economy.”
Dean Smith, Head of the Carillion Learning and Development, added: “We are delighted to welcome the Minister today. The investment we have made in this facility shows our commitment not only to providing the skilled and qualified workforce Carillion will need for the future but also represents an important building block in our strategy of working with education providers, Government Agencies and our supply chain to help to build the capacity the sector will need. As a lead organisation for green skills we have a responsibility and we are resolved to help create localised employment and apprenticeship opportunities to help sustain the communities in which we work.”