A West Midlands local authority and a leading UK construction services company have teamed up to unveil their initiative for equipping the Black Country supply chain with critical skills, as a major new hospital is built in the region.

CAP Centre 1

Sandwell Council, in conjunction with Carillion – the UK’s leading integrated support services company and the preferred bidder to build the £430m Midland Metropolitan hospital in Smethwick – is unveiling a state-of-the-art BIM (Building Information Modelling) Technologies and Skills Development suite at an event on 8th October.

The BIM Technologies and Skills Development Suite will provide a platform for manufacturers and suppliers to learn more about BIM and develop their skills in product design, 3D modelling and digital engineering using easy-to-configure 3D software.

Alex Lubbock, BIM Development Manager for Carillion said: “We are delighted to be launching this dedicated training facility in partnership with Sandwell Council. We hope that as many of the region’s businesses as possible will sign up to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to ensure that they are up to date with the latest technological advances, giving them a real business advantage going forward.”

Councillor Paul Moore, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, jobs and economy, said: “The West Midlands is a world-class manufacturing base and it’s important to see innovation, continual advancements and specialist skill sets being channelled into making our region’s supply chain more competitive.
“We are keen to support the skills development of small companies with practical support. The BIM Technologies and Skills Development Suite will ensure they can meet the legislative requirements of becoming BIM-compliant by 2016.”
At the event on 8th October, which aims to champion the region’s talented supply chain to Carillion, Sandwell Council will also be officially launching the West Midlands Virtual Hospital (WMVH), a digital building which will showcase the skills and capabilities of the region’s businesses in building and running a 21st-century hospital.

Virtechs, the company who helped create the West Midlands Virtual Hospital model, will run practical BIM advice and training workshops. David Emery, director of architectural and design consultancy at the firm, explains why manufacturing and construction suppliers should embrace BIM techniques in the near future:

“Building Information Modelling is at the heart of the Government’s 2011 Construction Strategy which seeks to drive down costs through innovation and collaboration. Far from being purely a technology, BIM is, first and foremost, a business process which – although it exploits technology – requires the building of long-term relationships and trust between businesses for their mutual benefit. By sharing data businesses can have access to the information they need at the time they need it.”

The official opening of The BIM Technologies and Skills Development Suite will form part of the ‘Meet the Preferred Bidder Day with Carillion’ and takes place on Thursday 8th October 2015 at the CAP Centre, Windmill Lane, Smethwick B66 3LX (adjacent to the Midland Metropolitan hospital site) from 8am to 1pm. It is free to attend as a delegate. To reserve a place, please email Steve Massey, Sandwell Council’s Supply Chain Development Officer, on stephen_massey@sandwell.gov.uk