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By: Chelmsford College Posted: 23/06/2021 Share:

Follow Our Progress as We Build a Brand New Construction Centre for Our Students

Chelmsford College is building a new Construction Centre, thanks to funding from South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP). A purpose-built two storey modern facility will provide the resources and equipment required to support the education and training of students and apprentices to become skilled trades people ready for work in the construction industry.

Simon Drane, Director of Curriculum at Princes Road at Chelmsford College said: "We’re excited that our new Construction Centre will include cutting-edge workshops for site carpentry, bench joinery and a renewables workshop to enable design, construction and operation on low carbon building technology including effective use of renewables to meet the required demand for growth in this SELEP priority sector."

The aims of the new Construction Centre fit in with the Government’s "Industrial Strategy - Building a Britain Fit for the Future" to "establish a technical education system which rivals the best in the world to stand alongside our world-class higher education system."

The new build supports SELEP’s key priorities in increasing construction apprenticeships and industry relevant qualifications; ensuring the local workforce is upskilled; equipping learners with required skills to meet the needs of local projects; to meet the requirements of T Levels and level 4 and 5 qualifications within the industry and to meet the growing demand for construction professionals.

South East Local Enterprise Partnership Chair Christian Brodie said: "Construction is an incredibly important industry in the South East, and we are delighted to be able to help provide cutting-edge facilities for students in this field through the funding of Chelmsford College’s new Construction Centre.

"Much of our work goes into the skills agenda for the South East, ensuring that we are giving residents every opportunity to gain access to trades and skilled career paths. We are avid supporters of making apprenticeships as widely available as possible, and this new centre will go a long way in giving students the chance to pursue that path."

Locally, Chelmsford is likely to continue to see a rapid expansion in terms of housing developments and economic growth. The City has a fully adopted plan in place, planning for 2036 and beyond. The plan includes expectations of 1,000 new homes and 700 new jobs per year. In addition to the construction of new homes and commercial property development, new infrastructures will be established, including new schools, roads, a new rail station and community facilities. Chelmsford College’s commitment to the new Construction Centre, with SELEP’s backing will help train the skilled construction workers required to meet the City’s planned development.

There are additional construction opportunities in the development of the Amazon Fulfilment Centre, Lower Thames Crossing, Cross Rail (Essex routes) and Essex Garden communities. Chelmsford is currently among four districts which have significant vacancies within construction occupations. There is real demand for Quantity Surveyors, Elementary Construction Occupations, Electricians and Plumbers.

Stuart Graham, Economic Development and Implementation Services Manager at Chelmsford City Council said: "As a growing City, with a strong track record of housing, economic and infrastructure delivery it is vital that we have the right local skills in the workforce to support the construction sector. We are delighted that Chelmsford College now has the funds in place to deliver its new Construction Centre and we look forward to it coming to fruition and our local workforce and businesses benefitting from the new skills that the Centre will support."

The Chelmsford College new Construction Centre is expected to be completed in early 2022.

Debs Hurst, Vice Principal of Finance and Corporate Services at Chelmsford College said: "We are delighted to be able to respond to the growth in the construction industry and to offer our students high quality facilities in which they can they develop their skills and expertise to support our local and regional economy."

The Construction Centre at Chelmsford College has been fully designed by leading property and construction consultancy Ingleton Wood, which is providing full multi-disciplinary design and management services.

Andrew Marchant, Associate Building Surveyor at Ingleton Wood, based in Colchester, said: "The state-of-the-art Construction Centre will help Chelmsford attract the next generation of construction workers which the industry vitally needs and provide better opportunities for school leavers as we invest in the future."

Students, parents/guardians and other interested parties can follow the build on Chelmsford College’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram via regular updates.