GQA Qualifications and its approved centre, Absolute Training Solutions are together helping to give self-employed people the opportunity to build up sector-specific knowledge, learn new skills and further enhance their job opportunities within the green energy sector. The work is part of a series of so-called ‘Skills Bootcamps’, which are affiliated to the Government’s ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantee’, funded through the Department of Education’s National Skills Fund.
Twenty-four learners have so far successfully completed the green energy Skills Bootcamps through the partnership formed between the awarding and qualifications-writing body GQA Qualifications and Absolute Training Solutions. Skills Bootcamps take the form of flexible courses of up to sixteen weeks. They are fully funded for anyone aged nineteen or over who is employed either full-time or part-time, unemployed, self-employed, a serving prisoner due to be released within six months of completion of a Skills Bootcamp or on temporary release. A cost subsidy is also available for employers wishing to make use of Skills Bootcamps in order to re-skill staff or develop their responsibilities.
Skills Bootcamps are offered in several sectors including Digital, Technical, Green Skills, Logistics, Construction and Rail. Absolute Training Solutions and GQA Qualifications have concentrated mainly on the area of Green Skills, providing training and Level 3 NVQ qualifications in Cladding Occupations and Curtain Wall Installations with the aim of helping to further the careers of self-employed installers. Interestingly, the course content not only focuses on job knowledge and NVQ evidence, but also covers a number of different topics including health and safety, personal development, equality, diversity and online courses to help develop positive attitudes and behaviours including mental health awareness.
Sean Monaghan of Absolute Training Solutions said:
“We are proud to have been selected as a training provider for the Skills Bootcamps initiative, which is a great means of not only helping self-employed individuals gain further opportunities including supervisory roles or management positions, but a way of helping them gain new skills to develop and progress within the green construction sector. Mental health and welfare are important areas within any sector, and the course has been designed to help self-employed learners develop their personal skills, ways to deal with stress and a growth mindset.
“We’d like to thank The Growth Company as the lead provider with whom we have been working during this initiative. The Growth Company is an award-winning social enterprise with a mission to enable growth, create jobs and improve lives. The DfE provided funding to The Growth Company, and as a specialist subcontractor we work in partnership with the latter to deliver this course to GQA candidates. The Growth Company has been very supportive throughout the whole process, especially in terms of provision of advice and guidance on safeguarding and quality improvement.”
Speaking about their experience, Skills Bootcamps participant
Liam Carter (Fenestration Installation Level 3) said “I learnt many different skills including safety aspects, identifying problems and putting control measures in place. I also learnt more about energy efficiency glazing and the different categories of glass. My new skills will help me on the road to progression within the workplace and help me in the future take the lead on my own gang/work group as a supervisor. Also, it will raise my income to provide extra for my family. It was an absolutely fantastic experience from start to finish. Paul Wingeatt (tutor) helped me massively during the NVQ level 3 and I would recommend the course to anyone looking to progress.”
Drew Hodgkins (Cladding Occupations Level 3) said “The Skills Bootcamp has helped me in many different ways, and I think it has helped me notice a lot more around the site. This includes health risks, how to observe other people’s behaviour and what can happen around the work environment. The skills will help me in the future to be able to work more independently as well as improving my teamworking skills. Overall, the experience has been a good one. I am glad to have learnt new skills and achieved my qualification. All the help provided by my tutor (Paul Wingeatt) and the information provided by Absolute Training Solutions Ltd was fantastic. I would definitely use the service in the future to gain more NVQ qualifications.”
Lee Davenport (Fenestration Installation Level 3) observed, “The Skills Bootcamp was really interesting because it taught me about energy efficiency. I learnt about the different types of glass and the rating system put in place. In the future, I would like to be a manager and eventually start my own company. The Skills Bootcamp has put me on the right path to gaining the skills and knowledge to be successful in the future. My experience during this qualification was brilliant. My tutor, Paul Wingeatt, was always available to me for guidance and to answer any questions. I would highly recommend anyone who wishes to gain qualifications in construction to speak to Absolute Training Solutions Ltd. The materials and resources made available was also appreciated especially on Health and Safety and mental health.”
Meanwhile Raimonds Herbergs (Cladding Occupations Level 3) commented “I learnt a lot of things I didn’t know before during my studies with the Skills Bootcamp. I have gained more confidence because the focus was not just on my skills, but on my knowledge, including how I work with people around me. For example, how to help people who are struggling or feel depressed at home or at work. In the future, I will pass on my knowledge and skills to colleagues and also build on the knowledge gained from the NVQ Level 3 and the Skills Bootcamp. Also, I appreciate the support from my tutor and Absolute Training Solutions Ltd. When I didn’t understand the meaning of a phrase, my tutor was able to explain the meaning or use other questions and examples to help me understand. Thanks to all the team.”
Speaking for GQA, Jim Gregory, EQA, said:
“The fact that Absolute Training Solutions is providing mentorship and engagement through Skills Bootcamps is terrific. They are giving learners opportunities to build sector-specific skills and are increasing their chance of career progression. I am particularly impressed with the fact that the initiative does not focus solely on vocational knowledge, but is helping to develop learners’ positive attitudes and behaviours as this will be invaluable to them going forwards.”