Business, Southampton

Business Southampton

📰 Southampton wins top award for construction skills and training

Southampton City Council has been recognised for its outstanding commitment to construction recruitment and training at the second annual National Skills Academy for Construction Awards, picking up the top accolade of the night for its Client Based Approach. 
The award ceremony, which took place at the Skills Show on Saturday 16 November, celebrated projects from across the UK which have set and achieved specific targets around recruitment and training, supporting sector and wider economic growth in their regions. 
The Client Based Approach is a framework that brings together all partners involved in construction projects to address skills needs and co-ordinate training delivery. In Southampton the council sets targets for employment and training activities for all major developments in the city based on each project’s size and value. The framework ensures that local people are able to gain the skills they need to pursue careers in the construction industry and means developers can access a skilled local workforce to enable them to deliver their projects. This approach has to date produced 750 new apprenticeships and construction jobs across the city. 
Accolades were handed out to six National Skills Academy for Construction projects across ten categories at the ceremony at the Skills Show, recognising their impact over the past year. Around half of the awards were dedicated to contributions by supply chain companies or individuals for achieving success in particular areas of a National Skills Academy for Construction project. 
The judges described how Southampton’s Client Based Approach “has been fully adopted and shows true innovation.” The city was described as a clear leader among local authorities in delivering the employment and skills agenda, both regionally and nationally, having supported the original introduction of the framework. Maximising social and economic opportunities are key targets within the council’s Strategic Plan, and the Approach is fully embedded in planning and procurement practice. 
The city was praised for its advocacy of Client Based Approach and for its role in advising and supporting other local authorities to implement this into council policy. 
Cllr Matt Tucker, Southampton City Council`s Cabinet Member for Economic development and Leisure Services, said: “It’s absolutely fitting that Southampton City Council has been recognised for leading the agenda for construction skills and training. This is something that has been developed over a number of years in the city and has already benefited hundreds of residents and helped drive the economy forward. 
“Southampton is currently undergoing a huge transformation both in terms of the built environment and equally the opportunities that the major developments are creating for the people of the city. We’ve got ambitious plans for the future of our city so it’s vital that we have a skilled workforce to help us and our development partners realise them.” 
Chris Allington, Director and Skills lead for the Solent LEP, said: "I am delighted to see that the National Skills Academy has recognised the excellent model that Southampton City Council have put in place to ensure that major developments have a positive impact in the city - both for business and for local residents. The Solent LEP have recognised that Southampton are leading the way on this agenda locally and we are hoping to secure funding to ensure that their approach can be rolled out across the entire Solent region." 
Jeremy Galpin, Chair of the National Skills Academy for Construction, said: “The calibre of entrants to this year’s awards was very high and we congratulate all the winners and runners up. Every National Skills Academy for Construction accredited project has set employer-led targets relating to skills and training, meaning that more and more construction projects are helping local people to undertake apprenticeships and placements, and gain the skills they need to compete in today’s competitive industry. With the support of CITB, we are delivering qualifications to meet the current and emerging needs of the industry.” 
For more information about the National Skills Academy for Construction, visit