A programme to train unemployed workers in construction logistics and find them work in the sector is set to be extended across the country after a successful pilot scheme in Greater Manchester.

The scheme, designed to aid industry skills shortages and ease local unemployment, was trialled through a partnership between Jobcentre Plus, contractor Bovis Lend Lease and logistics specialist Wilson James. The partners are now looking to roll the scheme out on other projects.

Nineteen unemployed workers from Greater Manchester have been qualified to NVQ level 2, attained CSCS cards and found employment with Wilson James as a result of the scheme.

The workers were trained on site on Prudential’s £150m redevelopment of retail centre Manchester Arndale, where Bovis is the main contractor.

Gary Sullivan, managing director of construction and aviation services at Wilson James, said: “This is the first major project in the UK where logistics management training has taken place on site. Given the success of this approach, we will be looking to repeat the method on other projects. It is a way of overcoming the skills shortages in construction and at the same time putting something back into the community.”

CITB-ConstructionSkills has urged industry firms to appoint apprentices before the closing date for college course applications on 19 August. Although more than 8000 CITB apprentices have found employers willing to take them on, hundreds do not have the placements needed to enable them to train in the industry.