Backed by local employers, a new groundworks and scaffolding training centre is being built at Colchester Institute.
The £250,000 project is now fully funded and will meet demand for skills in the local construction trade, and create 36 apprenticeship places each year.
Funding is being split between Essex County Council via the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), the college and from employers and sponsors.
It’s anticipated the training centre will include areas that fully replicate site conditions, preparing students for life on construction sites. It is believed there will also be the chance to get qualifications in working at height and safe entry to confined spaces.
A report outlining the scheme says training is needed to support five regeneration areas in Colchester alone – St Botolph’s, the garrison, Hythe, Northern Gateway and Knowledge Gateway.
A SELEP report outlined what the funding would be spent on. It states: “The funding will allow for site clearance and preparation, design and planning approvals, plant and machinery purchase, signage, modular storage units and secure compound, tools and equipment, scaffolding sets, car park reinstatement, and reconfiguration and upgrade of classrooms adjacent to the site that will create a genuine first-class training facility for Essex businesses.
“The project will develop a fit for purpose training centre replicating site conditions that will introduce new entrants to apprenticeships and upskill workforce teams, addressing concerns raised by local construction companies regarding the poor availability of local training which is impacting on business growth.”