Glasgow Kelvin College cements construction tie-up to boost local skills

Keepmoat's Beth McNeil with Glasgow Kelvin College principal Derek Smeall at the Sighthill development in Glasgow. Picture: Contributed
Keepmoat's Beth McNeil with Glasgow Kelvin College principal Derek Smeall at the Sighthill development in Glasgow. Picture: Contributed
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Glasgow Kelvin College has launched a long-term partnership with a UK-wide housebuilder aimed at maximising career opportunities for local communities.

The college has teamed up with Keepmoat Homes to ­create learning and training initiatives designed to help students and other residents in northern Glasgow to build skills and develop a sustainable career in the construction sector.

The agreement will be ­centred around the city’s Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area, billed as the largest project of its kind outside of London.

One of the first schemes under the partnership is the Build North Glasgow Training Programme, which is aimed at providing relevant skills, work experience and qualifications to people over 16 and has a particular focus on ex-military personnel.

Funded by CITB Pathways into Construction, the scheme involves a consortium of industry partners including Morgan Sindall, Tigers Training and Sibbald Training. Under the latest agreement, Keepmoat Homes will in turn support the Foundation Apprenticeship programme through the Glasgow college, which builds links between employers and school pupils while they are still in education.

The college’s engineering students are also set to benefit from the partnership, which will allow them to gain access to a programme of site visits, industry talks and work ­experience opportunities at the Sighthill development as it progresses over the next eight years.

Derek Smeall, principal of Glasgow Kelvin College, who was appointed to the role in April, said: “We believe this is a great initiative for the communities of north Glasgow and the students of Glasgow Kelvin College, helping people to get skills, qualifications and workplace experience that can lead to a fulfilling career in the construction sector.

“With our campus in Springburn only a short distance from the Sighthill Transformation Regeneration Area, it is important that we maximise the opportunities that a development of this scale can offer local people and our students.

“We are grateful for the ­confidence placed in Glasgow Kelvin College by Keepmoat Homes and look forward to a productive and dynamic partnership.”

Yorkshire-headquartered Keepmoat Homes, which works across the UK, will gain access to £15,000 worth of training per year from the college’s Flexible Workforce Development Fund to upskill its current workforce.

The tie-up will also support the housebuilder and its sub-contractors by granting them access to the latest skilled entrants to the industry who can work on the Sighthill development.

Beth McNeil, regional managing director for Keepmoat in Scotland, said: “The Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area provides a once-in-a-generation chance to deliver real value to real ­people and our industry over the long term.

“I look forward to meeting some of the students on the programmes and working with the college to ensure that we create opportunities that have a real benefit to its pupils, the wider community and the construction industry.”