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£1m training academy opening in Rotherham

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A specialist training centre that is set to provide repairs and maintenance skills to people across the north of England will open in the heart of Rotherham later this month.

Property solutions provider Fortem has invested £1m into the Northern 4Life Academy, where it will train more than 2,500 individuals each year, including more than 300 members of local communities in Rotherham and across the north of England.

The new centre is part of Fortem’s “growing our own” initiative, through which it recruits individuals based on their attitudes and behaviours, and then provides the training and support they need to build long-term careers with the organisation.

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In 2016 Willmott Dixon’s property repairs and maintenance specialist Willmott Dixon Partnerships announced that it was changing its name to Fortem.

From a base at Templeborough, Fortem works with Rotherham Council to deliver a repairs and maintenance service to 10,500 homes in the areas of Wentworth South, Wentworth Valley, Rother Valley West and Rother Valley South. In 2010 the company secured the five and a half year contract worth £58m with possible extensions up to 2020.

The training centre will feature professional repairs and maintenance training bays including multi-trade, wet trades, electrical, roofing, plumbing and fire prevention, as well as classrooms with industry leading technology.

This is the second academy launched by Fortem, which successfully opened its Midlands 4Life Academy in 2013. The Birmingham centre provided training to over 6,800 attendees last year, with more than half (52%) of the courses delivered by Fortem’s own internal experts.

Ann-Marie Steele, Head of Academies & Learning at Fortem, said: “Our 4life Academies offer industry-leading training and play a key role in enabling Fortem, our clients and our supply chain to meet future service needs and continued growth. By thinking differently and challenging the way we deliver training and learning, we want to inspire people to achieve their full potential.

“A second Academy running alongside our existing one will enable us to deliver more training, to more people, reaching and leaving a legacy in even more of the communities we work in.”

Andrew Exley, Managing Director of Scarbrook Plumbing and Heating Ltd and Scarbook Electrical Ltd, based in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, added: “Fortem’s partnership approach can be best demonstrated by the support we received from the team at the organisation’s Midlands 4Life Academy. It has not only delivered training courses to improve our staff, but also helped us find quality candidates for apprenticeships.”

Images: Fortem

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Tom Austen
Tom grew up in Aston, Rotherham and studied Human Geography at Nottingham Trent University before developing a passion for promoting Rotherham and a nose for a good story.

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