Balfour Beatty has been awarded government funding for a national training academy to improve infrastructure skills in the UK.
Through the government’s Employer Ownership Pilot, Balfour Beatty was awarded £4.4m to invest in the academy, which will bring together the contractor’s exisiting training centres.
The contractor will contribute £9m through cash and in-kind investment to establish the academy and provide training opportunities.
It said the focus would be on upskilling its existing workforce and providing training and job opportunities to young and unemployed people.
Balfour chief executive Andrew McNaughton said: “As the economic upturn gathers momentum, ensuring we have a workforce which has the training and skills to enable us to be a leader on the global infrastructure market remains our priority.
“We are delighted the government, through the Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot, recognises that the academy approach will enable us to develop and retain some of the best qualified and most knowledgeable people in the industry.
“We are building a sustainable and flexible workforce which can deliver the innovation and value customers are seeking.”
Balfour Beatty was among 11 employers selected to take part in the second round of the government’s Employer Ownership Pilot last September, through which the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education give public investment directly to employers to design and deliver training.
Employers participating in the pilot have the opportunity to bid for funding from a total pot of £340m up to 2015/16 for investment in training initiatives.
The Balfour Beatty academy will offer skills training and professional qualifications through bodies such as APM, the CIOB and RICS.
It will also deliver pre-employment programmes for young people and the unemployed to get them into apprenticeships or jobs.