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News: Nottingham College to build new Construction Skills Centre, to meet surging demands

A render of the Construction Skills Centre situated on the Nottingham College Basford campus
New Construction Skills Centre at Basford Campus

The Government has awarded Nottingham College £4m from its post-16 capacity fund, to develop a new purpose-built construction skills centre, meeting surging local demand for vocational training in the construction sector.

The college will itself invest £1.2 million to develop the centre, creating capacity for more 16 – 18 year-olds to access construction training within the city. 

Population growth, coupled with increased demand from young people, and increased demand for construction skills from employers in our region, provided a compelling case for the Government to confirm its £4m grant.

It means that by September 2024, a new construction skills centre will be open at the College’s Basford campus, already home to the region’s largest construction training facility.

These new additional places, on offer within the new skills centre, will mean that up to around 1000 young people, between the ages of 16 and 18 will be able to access construction training and qualifications every year, on top of the many adults and apprentices the college trains.

A detailed planning application for the new centre has already been submitted, reflecting the tight timescales of the project which must be open by September 2024.

Already in the pipeline is another £6 million centre which is being built on the Basford campus site, for specialist provision for students with learning disabilities or difficulties. This centre was awarded government funding in April 2022 through the Government’s FE Capital Transformation Fund and will be built simultaneously with the new construction skills centre. The College is in the process of appointing a contractor to oversee both projects.

It means that over £10 million of capital funding is being invested in the College’s Basford campus alone in 2023/24 and when added to the other investment the college has secured in the last 12 – 18 months, college students will benefit from more than £16 million of investment in new and improved facilities, equipment, learning spaces and resources.

These include:

  • £1.2 million from the OfS for industry-standard laboratory spaces at the college’s City Hub campus
  • £1.8 million to upgrade and develop the college’s art and design provision within its 25 Stoney Street campus. This is a combination of Government grant through the FE Capital Transformation Fund and the college’s own investment.
  • £700,000 on AI, Automation and Robotics equipment to enhance its higher technical offer at its engineering centre within the college’s Highfields campus.
  • £650,000 to develop a new simulated adult care ward within the college’s city hub, with a significant grant from the government’s T Level fund.
  • Nearly £400,000 from the government’s Strategic Development fund to invest in a fleet of high performing electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to train the next generation of automotive technician.
  • More than £300,000 from the OfS to develop new Level 4 and 5 pathways in modern methods of construction and computing, again in response to growing demand for higher level skills locally.

Carl Ara is Basford’s Head of Centre and will preside over the development of the construction skills centre, as well as the centre for learners with specialist needs, as they get underway and are built over the next 12 months. He said:

Basford has a long track record for excellence in construction training and skills development and this new centre will ensure that we as a college are equipped to meet the growing demand for these skills within our local and regional economy. Young people enrolling with us will not only receive first-class training across all the traditional construction trades, they will also be able to access specialist green skills training as well as higher level technical training to ensure that they can access the growing range of jobs and careers in this important sector. This significant investment which is supporting our continued growth in this area will be music to the ears of our employers who rely on us to develop and train their current and future workforce. 

 — Carl Ara
Published on:
  • 7th June 2023 (9:53 AM)
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