Early construction work at The Mercian in July 2019.

Locals will have the chance to learn construction skills at the site of Birmingham’s tallest residential skyscraper thanks to a new training hub funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)

The £100,000 training hub is funded through the WMCA’s Construction Skills Fund and will offer local people free construction training and a guaranteed job interview after completing a 20-day course.

Led by construction company John Sisk & Son, the hub will be based on-site at Broad Street, Birmingham, where construction work is underway to build The Mercian, a 42-storey tower with 481 apartments, developed and operated by Moda Living.

Pictured opening the new construction hub are (L-R) placement trainees Mahad Ali and Nathaniel Robinson, Sisk undergraduate engineer Bethany Brooks, company managing director North & Major Projects Guy Fowler, Cllr Sir Albert Bore (Ladywood), Sisk assistant quantity surveyor Alex Mills, company skills and employment lead Bandhana Karwal and WMCA construction skills project manager Shaun Hall

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The construction industry in the West Midlands will need 50,000 more trained staff by 2030, and so we need to make sure local people have the skills to fill these jobs.

“This is why we are establishing on-site training hubs in partnership with the industry across the region so that more people benefit from hands-on experience to gain employment in the construction sector.

“The hubs are a great way to link local residents to job opportunities created by investment on their doorstep and give them first-hand experience of what it’s like to work in construction, together with a guaranteed interview for a job at the end of their course.

“I am delighted that John Sisk & Son have agreed to help train the next generation of construction workers and I look forward to working with other employers across the region to open further skills hubs.”

The hubs across the region will advertise local job opportunities and will initially focus on training unemployed people.

Image: Moda Living

The £184m development on Broad Street has been designed exclusively for rent, offering hotel-level service and state-of-the-art amenities including a 200m podium rooftop running track. Construction on the building started in April this year and is expected to be completed in 2022.

Guy Fowler, Managing Director North & Major Projects at John Sisk & Son, said: “We are very pleased to be offering opportunities for local people to gain essential construction skills on this landmark building project in Birmingham city centre. During construction, our site will create 26 new jobs, including 15 apprenticeships. There will also be 21 work placements.

“We will continue to work with local people and businesses after construction work has finished.

“Since Sisk was founded 160 years ago, we have been committed to attracting and developing people to be the best that they can be, and this programme is another great example of how we deliver on our values of care, integrity and excellence.”

The WMCA has already opened three hubs in Perry Barr, Wolverhampton and Birmingham city centre with more expected to open later this year.

To sign up for construction training, contact the National Careers Service West Midlands on 0121 296 5550, or you can find out more information about the National Careers Service via https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/ or by calling 0800 100 900.