Twenty VGC workers have been given Persons and BESC training, and over 50 more are gaining specialist NVQ qualifications. This investment in people ensures continuity of work, and gives VGC the flexibility to support its range of clients.
A group of workers finishing up a project in NW London have been given training to equip them for a challenging National Grid substation project which starts shortly nearby. As well as funding the course fees (£400 per person), VGC offered support for the learners including revision materials and time.
The challenging National Grid Electricity Authorisation Training (Person) course gives people a solid grounding in how to work safely around electricity. Once they have passed the Person course, they face the even more stringent BESC course to be qualified to work on a live substation. BESC courses only take place on site, so a VGC provided transport for workers from London to a substation in Portsmouth for training. Having passed both courses, they have a three-year qualification, which gives excellent prospects for their future careers.
“Working on a live substation next to electricity pylons naturally requires a high level of training, and the courses are very tough,” said Laura Perry, VGC’s HR manager. “There is a national shortage of qualified people, so having so many people pass the stringent Persons and BESC requirements is a real win for them and for VGC.”
In addition to the BESC trainees, VGC is investing in NVQ qualifications for more than 50 workers across the UK. They will gain NVQs in:
- trades, including bricklaying, formwork and general construction
- machines, including slinger signaller, forward-tipping dumper, ride-on roller
- other courses including streetworks, supervisor and management up to NVQ level 6.
The NVQs focus on practical assessments covering the relevant skills and knowledge. NVQ assessors visit people on site to help them put together the required portfolios, and VGC supervisors and office staff assist with administration. Support includes DVDs and videos and help with written requirements so that even those without good literary skills can achieve the qualifications.
“We’re upskilling people, who are learning while they work, to gain life-long qualifications in a career which can offer so many opportunities,” said Laura. “With the industry shortage of skilled workers, we expect our investment to pay dividends for us and for them.”
The VGC Group is shortlisted for the ‘Employer of the Year 2014’ Construction News award, and was recently presented with the 2015 Infrastructure 21 Training award.