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Construction projects support island skills

13 November 2018

​A new course at Highlands has been developed with construction advisers working on large States of Jersey capital projects, to address the need for more skilled islanders.

A new facilities management apprenticeship scheme will start in September 2019 at Highlands College, which is likely to see twelve apprenticeships offered each year for the next four years.

It’s a partnership between the government of Jersey, Highlands College and the Future Hospital construction advisors J3, plus other employers in the industry. The apprenticeship is one of a number of initiatives planned as part of the island’s largest infrastructure project.

Highlands College staff recently visited Forth Valley College in Alloa to find out how a similar course in Scotland operates. Service, Maintain and Commission Building Engineering Services Level 3 will be offered on a part-time day release basis and is suitable for students who may have just left school or individuals who are currently in employment and who wish to obtain a formal qualification. The qualification also provides progression routes to degree level study, for example the BSc (Hons) in Construction Management at University College Jersey. 

J3 director Marc Burton said: “This new course is the second educational initiative J3 has been involved in while we’ve been working on the Future Hospital project. We’re very keen to promote and encourage skills development in Jersey and see this new course as positive follow up to the success of the Design, Engineer, Construct programme at Le Rocquier. It means the island can offer young people a new and innovative pathway to a career in the construction industry and we can provide opportunities for them to gain practical experience.”

Highlands College Principal, Steve Lewis, said: “We are delighted to be running the new facilities management course at Highlands College, which is set to start in September 2019. The qualification aims to suit the current and future needs of industry, as well as meeting needs of the employer. The aim is to produce a skilled workforce of specialised individuals whose expertise will be transferrable to other large commercial builds.”

Future Hospital lead for engineering services, Graeme Le Sueur, said: “The team working on the new hospital is keen to support the development of specialist local skills that will be needed for Jersey’s largest capital project and which will continue to benefit the island when the project is finished.”

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