A TRAINING centre for the building industry has proved so successful that it’s having to expand to meet national demand.
Roofing specialist Ploughcroft Building Services opened the centre in Brighouse in 2005 to train its own staff in the latest building techniques and health and safety regulations.
Within a year, the firm was inviting other construction companies through the doors to provide them with training packages.
Ploughcroft’s reputation grew to the stage where it was being asked to provide training for companies as far afield as Belfast, Manchester, London, Exeter and Edinburgh.
Now, after coaching hundreds of trainees – 500 of them from Yorkshire firms alone – Ploughcroft has recruited seven more training staff to help expand its delivery of courses at the centre and on clients’ premises across the UK.
The expansion will enable it to train up to 1,000 people in 2008.
Ploughcroft managing director Chris Hopkins said: “The centre has proved to be massively successful under the management of Denise Cherry.
“Companies are now queuing up to benefit from our expertise and our facilities, which include a roofing training workshop, plastering bays, a scaffold tower and solar installation rig.”
Said Mr Hopkins: “Two years ago, a lot of people said I was daft to open the facility to other roofing and building firms who are essentially my competitors, but I’m passionate about training and health and safety and so was determined to focus on the bigger picture of improving industry standards.”
And he said: “The success of the centre has paid dividends in terms of raising the profile of Ploughcroft as a company of excellence.”
Ploughcroft, which won an award for training from the National Home Improvement Council last year, originally invested £80,000 in the training centre with funding from Calderdale Council and regional development agency Yorkshire Forward.
It has received financial backing from the Learning and Skills Council to offer training in roofing, slating and tiling as well as scaffold tower courses, training in manual lifting and working at heights, trade skills, supervisory skills and general health and safety.
It runs courses for people facing difficulties returning to the employment market and delivers solar panel installation training throughout the UK with the National Federation of Roofing Contractors. It also plans to introduce waste management training in the spring.