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Hugh Baird College selected to ‘fast-track’ the next generation of Bricklayers

The Construction Industry Training Board has (CITB) has chosen Hugh Baird College in Bootle to launch a new Brickwork Academy to help ‘fast-track’ the next generation of bricklayers.

The aim of the Academy, which is also working with students and College’s from across the UK, is to improve the chances of Brickwork students in gaining employment at the end of their course and help fill the current skills gap in the Liverpool City Region.

The CITB has identified that nearly six in ten (59%) of those who unsuccessfully applied for construction jobs since finishing their course said it was because they lacked the work experience that employers required. The high demand for more Bricklayers in the Liverpool City Region was identified in the 2018 Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Construction Labour & Skills Research Report.

A cohort of Hugh Baird College students have been chosen to take part in the academy in partnership with participating local employers and are completing an additional seven weeks of practical skills training.

They will undertake their work experience and additional pre-site training together at the Knowledge Quad, construction company Morgan Sindall’s multi-purpose learning space located on site at the city’s landmark Paddington Village site.

Following this, the group will undertake their 24-week placements with three projects the company is delivering for Liverpool John Moores University and Merseyside Police.

In addition to developing their practical trowel skills, the extra training will support the students to be prepared for a career in the construction industry, covering topics such as employability skills and self-employment.

Vicky Edwards, Hugh Baird College Assistant Principal – Technical Skills, said:

“We are delighted to have been selected by the CITB to pilot the new Brickwork Academy initiative.”

“This development compliments our commitment to address the skill gaps in the Liverpool City Region’s workforce and our strategic vision to ensure our students progress to successful careers upon completing their studies at Hugh Baird College.”

Barry Roberts, Morgan Sindall Construction’s Managing Director for the North West, said:

“In order to successfully tackle the skills gap and develop the workforce our industry needs to thrive in the decades to come, innovative approaches to education and learning are needed.

“Brickwork Academy represents just that, and also mirrors the work we’ve undertaken in recent years in focusing on the importance of enabling new entrants into the industry to gain onsite experience early in their training.”

Steve Radley, CITB Strategy and Policy Director, said:

“We’re really encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by the colleges and employers involved in the Brickwork Academy.

“We hope that its results will make the case for expanding the Academy approach with more employers and into other trades, to join together with other CITB initiatives to help more learners become site-ready for employment.”

For more information about the Bricklaying and Construction courses available at Hugh Baird College, visit

For more information about the Construction Industry Training Board, visit