Spotlight on Swatpro training providers: Train4all
The picturesque mid-Somerset town of Somerton is home to construction industry training experts Train4All, a one-stop shop for employers and learners in the sector. The Train4All story began in 2008 in Chard.The company’s business development manager Liz Wilson explains:
“There was a clear need for quality construction training within the South West Region. “Learners were being let down by local FE colleges and other smaller providers were forced to close due to the recession.”
Initially Train4All only delivered bricklaying training to 12 apprentice learners on behalf of a local private provider. After 12 months, the contract grew and Train4All added tiling, plastering and carpentry as well as school link programmes and forces resettlement courses to their curriculum.
Due to the success of the first centre, the firm was approached by a local FE college which did not offer construction courses. They proposed setting up a second centre in Glastonbury. More apprentices enrolled and plumbing and heating courses were introduced. Very soon Train4All had to relocate to bigger premises due to the number of learners and the contracts held for construction delivery.
In 2016, Train4All had a bespoke centre built in Somerton to accommodate all learners from across the region. The centre has individual trade workshops to accommodate more learners and with 16 members of staff, the centre is going from strength-to-strength and assisting more and more employers with their training requirements.
Short electrical courses, as well as maintenance work and construction management have been added to the disciplines available.
As well as Apprenticeships and Traineeships, the company offers bespoke employer courses, Health & Safety short courses as well as short skill and DIY type courses. The Forces Resettlement Programme, for those leaving the military, is another regular user of their services. All levels of skill acquisition are catered for. Liz says the secret of their success is the ability to be flexible with training delivery, giving added value, and offering small group sizes - so there is faster achievement and progression.
Train4All’s ethos is that it is industry focused and all courses are taught by people from within industry. She adds that learners are stretched and challenged, but the courses have a great record of Traineeships progressing on to Apprenticeships and then fully qualified work.
Asked what benefits being a Swatpro partner has brought Train4All, Liz says:
“Swatpro has enabled us to continue our offer to apprentices and trainees across the South West.
“The support that the group provides is excellent, it keeps us up to date with new initiatives and funding availability. It also helps by sharing best practice across its membership and the partnership also allows us to standardise our practice and quality systems, via regular Quality Improvement Group meetings, to ensure they are of the highest standard.
“The Swatpro board and staff, are extremely knowledgeable, very approachable and are happy to help with any advice and guidance we may require. The team have arranged training and resources to help us improve our staff’s skills and facilitate CPD events, e.g. re safeguarding and improving teaching and learning.
“The partnership also gives us the opportunity to share our own skills and good practice with other members, for example we are having a team from another member visit the centre to discuss our functional skills delivery and how we embed this into our practical curriculum. Swatpro meetings are also an excellent opportunity to discuss issues we are having or information that others may find useful, to allow us to improve.”