Being launched in partnership with Liverpool City Council, the Knowledge Quad will look to fill the skills gap across the Liverpool city region construction sector. Tony McDonough reports
Construction giant Morgan Sindall has opened a ‘Knowledge Quad’ to address the skills gap in the Liverpool city region building sector.
Being launched in partnership with Liverpool City Council and located within the £1bn Paddington Village project, the Knowledge Quad was previewed to delegates at the MIPIM property expo in Cannes in March.
Morgan Sindall is heavily involved in Paddington Village which will see the creation of work class science, technology, education and health space facilities. Work on projects such as the £35m Royal College of Physicians northern HQ is already under way.
Paddington Village is being developed in three phases: Paddington Central, Paddington South and Paddington North, with Morgan Sindall Construction undertaking numerous projects as part of the first phase.
The Knowledge Quad will be focused on four pillars with corresponding aims. The pillars are:
- Skills – to raise quality in the industry and prevent future skills gaps.
- Education – to make built environment students work-ready.
- Discovery – to demonstrate the wealth of opportunities represented by the Paddington Village construction process and beyond.
- Employment – to support the sustainable creation and retaining of jobs.
Key to the Knowledge Quad’s programme will be the hosting of live construction activities that will allow participants to gain valuable onsite experience, as well as employment support sessions, including the delivery of Liverpool in Work’s Routeway programme.
In order to further capitalise on its offering, the Knowledge Quad has developed a programme that seeks to upskill workers in trades identified as important to the city region.
In the year ahead, the venue will host bi-monthly programmes on civil engineering, bricklaying, joinery, building envelope, painting and decorating and electrical. The civil engineering programme is currently under way
Other initiatives to be delivered at the facility include jobs fairs and pre-employment programmes, as well as regular lectures from educational partners.
Liverpool John Moores University, City of Liverpool College and Blackburne House – one of the country’s leading education centres for women – have already begun hosting sessions at the Quad, with further opportunities being explored with other local organisations.
Barry Roberts, Morgan Sindall Construction’s managing director for the North West, said: “Construction projects have played a key role in the regeneration of the Liverpool city region, and the Knowledge Quad will be pivotal in ensuring that momentum is maintained in the decades ahead.
“CITB predicts that over the next five years the North West will create 5,470 new construction jobs every 12 months – we see it as our responsibility to do what we can to help train the future workforce so they are ready to fulfil those roles and counteract the ongoing problems associated with a skills shortage.”