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£6million construction skills centre to be built in Bristol

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 06 June 2018 15:02

£6million construction skills centre to be built in Bristol

Six million pounds is going to be invested in boosting construction skills in the West of England.

The West of England Joint Committee has agreed to fund a new construction skills centre in South Bristol, based at City of Bristol College.

The centre will offer training in construction skills to around 850 people over three years through apprenticeships and other learning routes.

There will also be a brand new training facility on the doorstep of the college’s South Bristol Skills Academy in Hengrove Park.

The project was earmarked for approval a year ago but the Joint Committee has only now agreed to allocate funding, pending approval of a full business case.

The centre will be funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Local Growth Fund, which will be administered by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).

Professor Steve West, chair of the West of England LEP, said: “We’re a very successful region but we know there are skills gaps in some key areas, including construction.

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“It is a vital contributor to our economy and we must ensure that we have a strong and steady pipeline of talent for construction businesses.

“My hope is that whilst training for today, we innovate and re-think construction for the future. We need to design and construct buildings in new and innovative ways using new materials and techniques if we are to really accelerate building homes for the future.”

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “WECA has committed to working with colleges, councils and businesses to help the construction industry fill the estimated 82,500 jobs that will be created by 2036.

“This new Construction Skills Centre in South Bristol, along with Bath College’s Somer Construction Centre in Radstock – also funded through the Local Growth Fund – will play a key role.

“We will also be working with
the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) on a regional action plan to improve construction skills and availability of workforce.”

Lee Probert, principal and chief executive at City of Bristol College said it was “great news” for the college but “even better news” for Bristol residents.

The new Construction Skills Centre, which is due to open in 2021, will also create jobs in construction.

Lee added: “We are grateful to the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership for their valuable support of this project and shared commitment to the ongoing development of education and skills in South Bristol and beyond.”

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