Friday, June 29, 2012

First anniversary for State-of-the-art gas assessment centre

Celebrating its first anniversary is a state-of-the-art training centre that helps people facing worklessness in the north-east find opportunities to gain essential gas qualifications and valuable on-the-job experience.

The first year since the launch of the Gas Training at Kier centre has seen fifteen operatives complete their re-assessment qualification, seven apprentices achieve their full gas qualifications and multiple external verification visits from industry professionals. Additionally, the centre has achieved partner status with the Careers Transition Partnership for the Ministry of Defence, meaning it is now a preferred supplier for training ex-forces personnel.
In February, the gas training team welcomed 42-year-old ex-serviceman Paul Timothy to carry out a 12-week work placement with the company. Paul received valuable work experience including hands-on training with operatives in the field, following 16 years serving with the Royal Engineers where he completed tours of Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia.

Paul has now been offered and accepted a full time role as a gas fitter with Kier carrying out gas servicing, installations and repairs to homes across North Tyneside. ‘Gas Training at Kier’ is a state-of-the-art gas assessment centre located in Killingworth, North Tyneside that offers BPEC accredited training and reassessments enabling new candidates to gain essential training, and engineers to stay up to date with current gas legislative requirements.

The centre trains candidates who want to start a career in gas engineering or renew their qualifications, and also provides a tailored package for candidates resettling after serving in the armed forces. With ex-service personnel making up part of the ‘Gas Training at Kier’ team, they are ideally positioned to deliver first-rate training opportunities, as well as being able to provide help and guidance on all aspects of resettlement.

Kier regional director, Mike Furze, said: “We are extremely proud the efforts of our gas training team who have worked so hard to make the centre a success. It is illegal for an operative to work on gas installations in the UK unless they are Gas Safe registered (either individually or through a company) and hold valid and relevant gas qualifications. Through our state-of-the-art gas training centre we are committed to supporting local people to retrain or learn new skills vital for securing job opportunities in the region.” The centre, which is offering discounts to businesses who send staff for training and assessments, was opened in June 2011 by North Tyneside cabinet member for housing, Paul Mason, along with Kier’s managing director for maintenance, Peter Brynes.

-Kier North Tyneside is a joint venture (JV) company formed between North Tyneside Council and Kier’s maintenance division to deliver a repairs and maintenance service for North Tyneside’s social housing and public buildings.

-This organisation carries out improvements and repairs to North Tyneside Council’s housing stock and other council-owned property for an initial ten-year term. The contract has a potential value of over £600m and is extendable for a further five years.

-The JV entailed the transfer under TUPE of 500 council employees to Kier North Tyneside and is based and operated from the council’s existing Killingworth site at Harvey Combe.

-This latest contract joins Kier’s well-established and extensive portfolio of local authority outsourcing contracts and brings the total number of public sector homes maintained by Kier to over 240,000.

-Kier North Tyneside undertakes repairs, maintenance and upgrade works to council homes and provides a design, build and maintenance service to schools and local authority buildings.


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