Big Brother star backs new Ilkeston brickwork academy

Former Bricklayer and Big Brother contestant Craig Phillips joins Ian Hodgkinson with Capitals Deano and apprentice Daniel Dunn at the launch of the new brickworks academy at Derby College in Ilkeston
Former Bricklayer and Big Brother contestant Craig Phillips joins Ian Hodgkinson with Capitals Deano and apprentice Daniel Dunn at the launch of the new brickworks academy at Derby College in Ilkeston

Big Brother One winner Craig Phillips attended the launch of the Hodgkinson Brickwork Academy at the Ilkeston campus of Derby College.

The learning academy will be launched in September to tackle the skills shortages facing the construction industry.

Ian Hodgkinson, who owns Hodgkinson Builders in Derby, will work with the college to launch the academy at Derby College’s campuses in Ilkeston and the Roundhouse in Pride Park, Derby.

Former bricklayer and Big Brither winner, Craig Phillips, said: “When Ian first told me about his idea for the academy I thought he was spot on. There is an alarming skills crisis in the country when it comes to construction and if we can help to highlight what a wonderfully rewarding career it can be, I’m sure we can do our bit to get Britain building again.”

As well as teaching practical brickwork skills and theory studies, students will benefit from individual support and mentoring, practical work experience and a guaranteed interview with the company at the completion of their one or two year course.

Mr Hodgkinson said: “Politicians are promising great house building programmes but, at the present rate, we will struggle to find the people to build them.

“This is both a threat to the economy but also a huge opportunity for those learning a trade, especially brickwork. We can and must do something about this.

“This approach to training will have a positive effect on the local and national economy. Our aim is to build a future workforce for the UK. A workforce that has the academic, technical and life skills to thrive in the modern workplace.

“We are at a critical point in terms of the skills base in the country. The demand for housing has never been higher but our ability to supply that demand is at a low ebb. We aren’t just talking, we are working in partnership to do something about it.”