New Plastering Qualification at St Vincent College Will Help Smooth Over Skills Gap

St Vincent College in Gosport is launching a new plastering qualification in September to help plug a skills gap in the area.

It will introduce a Level 2 diploma plastering course, which will complement the Level 1 course introduced in 2021. The construction sector has long reported a shortage of skilled workers and a training need has been identified by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

Teacher Richard Naunton-Evans said the new qualification will give students a more focused grounding in the basics of plastering and make them more employable.

“This is a real opportunity for progression for students who have completed the Level 1 course,” he said. “They will learn about rendering, floating walls both inside and out as well as working with a variety of backgrounds and background materials, which will make them more versatile and employable,” he said.

“As an experienced and qualified plasterer myself I am very passionate about teaching the right skills and passing on my knowledge, so to be able to offer this deeper level of teaching is exciting,” he said.

The college, which is part of the Lighthouse Learning Trust, will see an investment of £75,000 from the trust into expanding the teaching space and providing extra equipment. This investment will see the continued expansion of the college’s construction provision following a £600,000 capital expansion projected funded by the trust and Department for Education in 2021.

Executive Principal Andy Grant said the trust is committed to expanding this provision it represents significant investment and huge opportunities for growth, supporting local students to develop industry skills for local employment needs.

“We listen closely to employers and understand what the job market needs so this is a very worthwhile investment,” he said. “We already provide excellent teaching but this new qualification will leave students even better prepared to take up apprenticeship or further training opportunities.”

The college has partnered with leading supplier British Gypsum to receive support for the course by supplying £1,500 worth of materials a year. The college is also being supported by trade supplier Refina through discounted tools and materials.

“We are delighted to be working alongside British Gypsum and Refina,” said Mr Grant. “It’s fantastic they are playing their part in supporting the next generation of trades people here in Gosport and we look forward to establishing further ties with the sector.”

Pictured: Plastering students mastering new skills at St Vincent College in Gosport
Pictured: Plastering students mastering new skills at St Vincent College in Gosport