Building industry support for driving up local construction skills

Five new project sponsors have invested in the Council led Building Plymouth partnership which aims to work collaboratively to overcome the skills crisis facing the local construction industry.

National construction contractor Willmott Dixon, regional company Gilpin Demolition, nationwide building services contractor T Clarke, professional construction consultancy Ward Williams Associates, and CITB the industry training board for construction have all signed up.  

They join 17 existing project sponsors: AECOM, City College Plymouth, Constructing Excellence, Kier, Midas, mi-space, Millfields Trust, Morgan Sindall, Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Community Homes, Plymouth Construction Training Group, Redrow, Ryearch, Skills Group, South Devon College, Stride Treglown and SWH Group.

From the left to right– Emma Hewitt – Building Plymouth, Vicki Knight – TClarke, Hannah Coulson and Michael Chaney – Willmott Dixon, Paul Nicholls- Gilpin Demolition, Roy Imeson – CITB and Kay Barlow – Gilpin Demoltion.

Council Leader Ian Bowyer said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome our five new project sponsors for Building Plymouth. Our partnership is going from strength to strength and this is only made possible by genuine collaboration and financial investment. This funding will enable us to drive up activity in order to increase the availability of construction skills to meet the needs of local employers thereby creating jobs and career opportunities for the residents of the city.”

Andy Snapes, WWA Managing Partner said: “At WWA we are all really passionate about improving skills in our industry and encouraging individuals to consider a career in construction. We are extremely proud to be working with all involved in Building Plymouth and its partners”.

Paul Nicholls, Commercial Director of the Gilpin Demolition Group said “We are proud to be sponsoring Building Plymouth. Following a large uplift in construction and demolition projects across the South West region, there has been an intrinsic need to address the skills shortage within the industry. We face a monolithic task of filling the skills gap, but with the support from industry leaders to the Building Plymouth partnership, we take that crucial step towards successful delivery of our modern infrastructure. Our forward plan within the Group is to support individuals seeking a structured pathway into the industry. Our immediate goal is to provide a robust delivery model for training and development, providing young apprentices and graduates a compartmentalised education process, balancing theory with practical training. The Building Plymouth model is an exceptional tool, indispensable to the success of closing the skills gap within our region. The Gilpin Group view Building Plymouth as an integral part of our project delivery. We will endeavour to further strengthen our relationship with Building Plymouth and communities across the region, to further support individuals into employment. The South West’s built environment holds exciting prospects for the future, and here at Gilpin we see this as a positive step forward to developing an already booming industry.”

Rob Faro, Managing Director SW Region said: “We are passionate about the built environment and are proud to be sponsoring the Building Plymouth initiative bringing everyone together in the sector to promote just how fantastic this industry is and the opportunities it holds. We run a successful apprenticeship programme and having a platform to promote these opportunities along with other companies in the industry means that we are actively tackling the current skills shortage and making a real difference.”

Roy Imeson, CITB Advisor for the Heart of the South West said: “The Construction Skills Network data highlights a 3.1 per cent growth in construction output in the South West with a demand for new skills. The Building Plymouth collaboration of local and national contractors are using all of CITB’s products and services to help hit the skills shortages, including Plymouth City Council becoming one of the most successful National Skills Academies in the region. They are working hard to influence local people at all levels to join the exciting construction industry.”

For more information visit