West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

24 July 2019

Leeds College of Building: Reach Higher in Construction

Leeds College of Building has worked collaboratively with the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (WYCC) employers, key partners and external presenters, to deliver a programme covering five skill areas, under the ESF (European Social Fund) Reach Higher project.

The programme has offered employees from construction organisations in the Leeds City Region the opportunity to develop their understanding of essential leadership and management skills that are identified as potential weak areas by construction employers. Alongside this, there was a focus on digital skills, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), estimating, coaching, behavioural safety, mentoring and dealing with issues when negotiating.

Delegates at the Leeds College of Building BIM courseThe WYCC team caught up with a group of Reach Higher in Construction delegates during their BIM training session, delivered at Leeds College of Building’s brand new Southbank campus.

Shane Parnham, Colas: “I recently moved into management from the tools department, it’s been a massive change and I feel like I’m starting from scratch. Luckily my team at Colas are really supportive, particularly when it comes to getting the right skills to do my job well, which is where this learning comes in. I’ve been at Colas for 10 years, so moving to management and taking part in these courses will have a big impact on my career.”

Gary Morgan, Sigma: “I worked closely with the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges to help develop the learning that Leeds College of Building is offering through the Reach Higher project. I was a site manager for 15 years and I’ve been a construction manager for four years.

“When I first moved into an office environment, I felt out of my depth as it’s so different to working on site. My experience has fed into what this Reach Higher course should be and the course is a stepping stone to bringing knowledge from site into office. The experience and the talent is there and waiting on site, it’s great to see a process that can help with bring people in to an office environment. For me personally, making the move was fantastic for my home and work life balance.”The key partners and employers that have worked in collaboration on the Reach Higher in Construction project

Managed by the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges and funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), the Reach Higher contract (£3.5m) strives to widen participation in higher level skills through a programme of activities. These are co-designed by employers that will attract and engage new participants onto higher level courses. This will enable more qualified individuals who can fill the skills gaps in employment in key sectors in the Leeds City Region.

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