Skills Support for the Workforce

Pickerings Hire

Formed in 1969, Pickerings Hire has grown into a leading, privately owned hire firm, specialising in the hire of portable site accommodation and modular buildings. The company’s Willenhall depot opened in 2020, and this expansion along with an increasing client base meant training was required to upskill their staff.

The challenge

The day-to-day challenges the business faced included retaining existing staff, increasing staff productivity, modernising working methods, and minimising the impact their activities have on the environment.

The training programme was required because their employees needed to improve their skills and levels of productivity. The construction sector is heavily regulated so their workers needed to hold confirmation of skills sets in the form of CSCS cards.

How SSW helped

Construction Skills People, one of the expert training providers who carries out the Skills Support for the Workforce programme (SSW), went through a training needs analysis with Pickerings Hire to identify the qualifications that most suited their employees’ day-to-day work. It was decided that NVQs at Level 2 would benefit the staff the most due to them needing CSCS cards to prove their competency.

As the SSW programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), Pickerings Hire were able to access the training at no cost to the business.

28 employees undertook the Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Construction using Off-site Manufactured Assemblies (Modular & Portable Building). The employees also completed additional modules as part of the bespoke training programme:

  • Installing, maintaining and decommissioning portable cabins, units and temporary buildings in the workplace
  • Installing basic plumbing in the workplace
  • Preparing to and directing and guiding the movement of vehicles, plant or machinery in the workplace
  • Preparing and operating powered units, tools or pedestrian plant, machinery or equipment in the workplace
  • Removing non-hazardous waste in the workplace
  • Slinging and hand signalling the movement of suspended loads in the workplace
  • Maintaining non-structural carpentry work in the workplace

Construction Skills People arranged for early morning enrolment sessions to fit in with working schedules and ensure minimal disruption.

The outcome

For many of the employees it was the first formal qualification they had undertaken since leaving full-time education and because their individual learning methods were taken into account they reported that the training programme was a positive experience.

The employees now hold industry-recognised CSCS Blue Cards which means the business will have an increased chance of tenders being successful, thus supporting their plans to grow as a business and recruit more local employees.

By undertaking the qualifications, the staff saw that Pickerings Hire are willing to invest in their careers and futures, which has ultimately boosted staff morale.

Another benefit to the business is one of the areas of learning included a section which covered how the staff could reduce the amount of waste they generate and how to dispose of this waste in an environmentally-friendly way. This has had a positive impact of reinforcing the environmental awareness message that Pickerings Hire are promoting across the business.