The Weston College Construction Training Centre, which will be based just off Junction 21 of the M5 when it opens in spring next year, represents a £3.8 million investment that will offer training in three key construction areas – plant operations, scaffolding, and groundworks.
Courses have been selected and designed in response to the growing demand for a trained and skilled construction workforce in the region, with training available as required by employers and individuals, rather than fitting into the traditional academic year.
Explains Dr Paul Phillips, principal and CEO of the Weston College Group: “The Construction Training Centre is a natural step into commercial training and starts an exciting chapter for us. Over the last 10 years, we’ve built strong relationships with employers to develop our apprenticeship provision.
“But we’ve recognised, more and more, the need to deliver training at the point of need – not only for school leavers during the academic year. The Construction Training Centre means employers can come to us at any time for short courses, top-up courses, and to up-skill staff who are taking on new roles. We’ll also provide apprenticeships in these new areas to train the next generation of this industry’s workforce.”
The college has commissioned Midas Construction to build the centre and will team up with safety experts Simian to provide the scaffolding training.
The training centre has been made possible through the efforts of Weston College in partnership with the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and North Somerset Council. The financial investment has been provided by the college match-funding a successful bid for funding from the West of England LEP through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority.
Chair of the West of England LEP, Prof Steve West, adds: “We’re really pleased to support the fantastic new Construction Training Centre at Weston College. This will help to equip our current and future construction workforce with the skills they need to drive forward the building of new homes, business premises and infrastructure as our region grows. It will also help them to secure better career prospects and make the most of the opportunities available right here in the West of England.”