Over a thousand trained by Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) before SA1 hub opens


Over 1,200 people have received training from the new Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) – before the hub has even been built at the SA1 waterfront site.

CWIC is already delivering world-class training and courses including the scaffolding management course at Coleg Cambria and the heritage plastering course at Coleg y Cymoedd – taught for the first time in Wales.

To date the partnership which includes Coleg Sir Gâr, Coleg Ceredigion, Coleg Cambria and Coleg y Cymoedd has also delivered over 170 events.

CWIC’s activities have supported 305 Welsh employers through its engagement with Welsh construction industry professionals, operatives and related staff.

As the steel frame of the new centre takes shape in Swansea, the CWIC team celebrated their first year of operating with the partner colleges and invited guests from the construction industry in Wales.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and a consortium led by The University of Wales Trinity Saint David, are working in partnership to deliver (CWIC) state-of-the-art facilities and training for individuals and construction companies, with CITB investing £6.5m. The centre is due to open in autumn 2018 and will see a minimum of 1100 students trained at the SA1 hub each year.

Situated in phase one of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s new £300m SA1 Swansea Waterfront development, the building is being constructed by Kier. It will cover 1,000 square metres of floor space, providing a ConstructZone, classrooms, dedicated IT suites and conference facilities. A dedicated scaffolding training facility will also be sited close by.

Director of CWIC, Gerald Naylor said: “We are not only working quickly & responsively to meet the needs of the construction industry in Wales but also working collaboratively with a number of industry partners on improving employer-education engagement. CWIC is also partnering with other stakeholders in promoting a positive image of the construction industry to potential new entrants”.

Mark Bodger, Strategic Partnership Director for CITB Wales, said: “The Construction Wales Innovation Centre is already having a huge impact on skills and training in Wales. By working with partners, we are delivering world-class training whilst meeting the needs of the construction sector in Wales. A strong pipeline of work is forecast for Wales and CWIC will play a crucial role in ensuring Welsh construction workers have the training and skills they need now and in the future.

Barry Liles, Coleg Sir Gâr principal said: “I believe that CWIC is a valuable initiative that we’re thrilled to be part of, delivering training for industry which is beyond our current product range.  We are keen to continue our engagement with industry and CWIC funding has helped us assist over 100 companies in the construction sector, from large contractors to the self-employed. This demonstrates that there is both an appetite and significant demand to train and upskill the Welsh workforce across niche areas such as gas membrane installation to heavy plant and machinery.”

Judith Evans, Coleg y Cymoedd principal said: “CWIC offers great opportunities for candidates to future proof their skills in an ever changing sector. Members of the Four Construction Group have already benefited from a variety courses from Level 2 Plant with Coleg y Cymoedd to Level 6 Construction Management with Coleg Sir Gar.  Funding through programmes like this is so important, not only for individuals but also for the growth Small and Medium Enterprises across Wales.

David B Jones, Coleg Cambria principal said: “Since becoming part of the CWIC delivery team across Wales, Coleg Cambria have had the opportunity to deliver bespoke courses to employers tailored to meet their individual needs. This has enabled us to meet new employers and strengthen ties and relationships with current employers. The employers and employees have found the training to be a great insight into the project and are more than eager to return to see it progress and further their knowledge in specific areas.”

Howard Monsen, senior project manager, Kier Construction Western and Wales, said: “Kier is delighted to be contributing towards this vital project that is having such a positive impact on employment and education in the region. Kier has a long-standing record of commitment of recruitment and training in the industry, with a bespoke training classroom, designed for students from local schools, universities and surrounding colleges to experience real challenges and rewards of working within the construction industry. On the SA1 project so far, we have created 20 jobs, 3 graduate schemes, 12 apprenticeships and a total 284 weeks of training. It’s vital that we continue to exceed our community targets and carry on in our quest to create opportunities now and in the future.”

Note to Editor

New team appointed for Construction Wales Innovation Centre

The Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), a flagship £6.5 m training initiative funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David has appointed its new team. 

Gerald Naylor, a former lecturer and Head of the Built Environment at Coleg Sir Gar has been appointed Project Director.  Gerald has extensive experience in the construction industry and related training having previously worked for a number of welsh contractors before entering the vocational education and training sector. He started his career as a carpentry and joinery apprentice through the CITB and has enjoyed a varied career in construction, having run his own construction business, before deciding to undertake a PGCE to become a lecturer.

Gerald said; “I started my career in construction thanks to a CITB apprenticeship, and now I’m proud to oversee CWIC to help develop this landmark pan-Wales Hub and Spokes training facility.  The centre and partners will deliver a host of courses and will be home to the first purpose-built scaffolding centre in Wales”.

CWIC is a ground-breaking £6.5m agreement funded by CITB and a consortium led by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, with the Hub based at the SA1 Waterfront Development in Swansea

“CWIC will equip the industry with specialist training facilities when we open the Hub in September 2018.  Since the project began we have already delivered over 150 courses throughout Wales through our partners Coleg Sir Gar, Coleg Cambria, Coleg y Cymoedd and Coleg Ceredigion.  We are looking forward to the next stage which is to oversee the building of the Hub”. 

Gareth Evans, the centre’s co-ordinator also started his career in construction via an apprenticeship.  Before joining CWIC, Gareth was a lecturer in carpentry and joinery at Pembrokeshire College and Coleg Sir Gâr, having previously set up his own Carpentry and Joinery business. Gareth is also appointed the WorldSkills UK Expert for Carpentry, the world’s largest international skills competition.

“Both my CWIC and WorldSkills roles allow me to promote the innovative work and training currently being carried out within Wales and UK’s Construction Industry.  I’m thrilled to be able to showcase this, along with the Construction Wales Innovation Centre on the world stage. Rightly placing the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and CWIC amongst the top providers of world class construction training.”  

Julie Evans, who completes the team as project administrator, has an extensive background in marketing, public relations and project management.  She has worked for well-known welsh organisations including Visit Wales and Business in the Community. 

She said, “Whilst I don’t have a background in construction I am pleased to join CWIC at a time when I am about to begin my own construction project which involves building a house.  This will give me plenty of opportunity to learn more about construction! ”.  

On the appointments, Mark Bodger, Strategic Partnership Director at CITB Wales, which funds CWIC, said: “I’m delighted Gerald, Gareth and Julie are now in place to deliver this milestone project. We are already seeing the huge impact the team and CWIC are having in the industry - with a full programme of varied courses already being delivered across Wales, via our spokes.  With the construction output growth predicted to grow almost four times faster in Wales than the UK average, there really has never been a better time for us to deliver the Construction Wales Innovation Centre.”

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695
Mobile: 07496 385597
Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk