£750k funding boost to Bedford College construction facility

Construction continues on the new £4.3m facility at Bedford College

Up to 100 students a year will benefit from Bedford College’s new construction facility which has received a three-quarters of a million-pound funding boost thanks to a charitable foundation.

The £750,000 donation from The Connolly Foundation is helping to fund a new Modern Methods of Construction facility at Bedford College.

As well as providing courses for school-leavers, apprentices, and those wishing to progress to Higher Education, the centre will also be used to re-skill those already in the industry, enabling them to keep up-to-date with emerging methods of construction.

Those trained – and re-trained – at the new facility at Bedford College will be qualified to fill the increasing demand in the construction industry.

According to trade publication, Building, “Construction will need to recruit an additional 217,000 new workers by 2025 just to meet demand, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has warned with those working in joinery, fit-out and electrical among the most prized.

Nearby East and West Midlands are leading the demand for construction workers.

The facility will provide training in the latest equipment used on building sites as well as the manufacturing of building ‘offsite’, which will enable students and apprentices to gain quality experience both in and out of the college environment.

David Wilkins, from Bedford College, said: “This significant donation from the Connolly Foundation has enabled the College to invest in the latest industry equipment which is used in the design and manufacture of Offsite buildings, representing a key part of the future of the Construction Industry.

“With this equipment, we will be able to train a wide representation of new and existing personnel with these emerging technologies and techniques as well as contributing to reducing the skills gap in the industry.

The building is expected to be open in September and will accommodate nearly 100 students from the age of 16.

The total cost is £4.3 million and the college has also received a donation from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP).

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