Ilkeston brickie opens school for construction skills

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An Ilkeston-born brickie has fulfilled a long held dream by opening his own construction skills training base with a little help from a DIY celebrity.

Ian Hodgkinson celebrated the official opening of the National Construction Academy at 20 Downing Road, Derby, last month.

The academy has been set up to address critical skills shortages in the construction industries by attracting new talent to the sector and delivering fresh energy into businesses through work-ready trainees on high quality, industry focused apprenticeship programmes.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ian said: “It is fantastic day to celebrate all the progress we have made to get to this point.

“We welcome all employers and young people to get in touch for the opportunity to see the fantastic opportunities available within the building trade for apprentices and employers who embrace apprenticeships to grow their business.”

The NCA was officially opened by DIY SOS presenter and inaugural academy president Nick Knowles as he demolished a ceremonial wall.

Nick has been a strong supporter of the academy since the very early days of planning, and has used all his experience and insight from the industry to develop its training programmes.

The academy currently offers a traineeship and apprenticeship in bricklaying, with a fast-track route into work.

The combination of training and mentoring is designed to develop candidates into well-rounded valuable employees.

The traineeship offers candidates extensive support and to achieve the CSCS card and to understand the practical skills and knowledge required to be a valuable and safe member of a worksite.

NCA is part of Aspire Achieve Advance (3AAA)— an Ofsted Grade 1 training provider operating nationally.

Whether you are an employer looking to transform your business, or a young person looking to get on the career ladder, find out more at or call 0330 1242069.