FIS Skills rolled out its BuildBack programme in Birmingham last week with an assessment day held for trainees and employers at South & City College Birmingham.

The assessment day was the first instalment of a nationwide rollout planned for BuildBack as part of the Fit-Out Futures strategy of enabling new entrants into the sector. BuildBack puts job seekers through two weeks of college training followed by two weeks of on-site work experience with an employer, to equip them with the skills and competencies required to pursue a career in drylining.

The event enjoyed full attendance and participation from all partners and trainees, with employer attendees including Taylor Hart, Lakeside Ceiling and Partitions, BAM Construction Midlands and Mee Refurb, who had an opportunity to see the college facilities, talk to staff and meet the BuildBack trainees.

Bob Howlett, faculty head of technology and construction at South & City College Birmingham, said: “I thought the assessment day was a great success. I had the chance to speak to both candidates and employers and was impressed by the commitment of both – candidates obviously enjoyed the practical session and were keen to join the programme and seek opportunities in the sector.

“I am sure this is the start of a lasting partnership with FIS which will undoubtedly bring benefits to learners, employers and the City of Birmingham as it continues to grow and prosper.”

The trainees selected from the assessment day will begin the Specialist Upskilling Programme (SUP) in drylining in early March for two weeks. After completion of the SUP, free semi-skilled drylining trainees will be available for work placements for two weeks, providing wage-free assistance on projects from 26 March 2018.

Phil Eves, employment and skills co-ordinator at BAM Construction, said: “The BuildBack assessment day was very interactive. It gave us an opportunity to engage with the supply chain, have direct conversations with the trainees and other employers who attended, and see first-hand the high quality of the college facilities that will be delivering the programme.”

Midlands-based employers can register their interest in taking trainees for work placements at