Minister opens Construction Skills and Innovation Centre - Bridgwater & Taunton College

Bridgwater College’s latest state-of-the-art facility was formally opened this week by Rt. Hon Matthew Hancock MP, Minster of State for Business, Enterprise and Energy.

The Construction Skills and Innovation Centre is the result of a £1.5m investment from EDF Energy and offers a new civil engineering curriculum including training in excavation, ground works, concrete pouring, formwork and steel fixing. The facility is set to play a crucial role in training the future construction workforce for Hinkley Point C – which is set to provide low carbon electricity for 5 million homes.

Ian Liddell-Grainger, Derek Randell, Matthew Hancock, Nigel Cann, Mike Robbins, Andy Berry.

Hinkley Point C will create 25,000 job opportunities during construction including 1,000 apprenticeships. For the past four years the College has been working in close partnership with EDF Energy and its partners to develop a new curriculum to support the project and create a sustainable legacy of standards and qualifications for the nuclear new build industry worldwide.

The Construction Skills and Innovation Centre includes a unique eight-acre outdoor site which replicates a real life construction site, with industry-standard plant, machinery and equipment. It enables construction site behaviours and standards to be taught alongside specific technical knowledge and skills. The College has invested a further £400,000 in concrete infrastructures to deliver bespoke training in steel fixing, one of the critical skills required in nuclear new build projects.

Working under the Employer Ownership of Skills programme with Laing O’Rourke, awarding body NOCN and the University of the West of England, the College has assisted in the development of a suite of formal steel fixing qualifications – from apprenticeships through to supervisory at Level 4 – to address the training needs for this critical skill that can be delivered at the new Centre.

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Mike Robbins, Principal at Bridgwater College said,

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with local, national and international partners to establish such impressive facilities which supports our world-class training offer. Bridgwater College is fantastically placed to be able to create training programmes that support the development of a skilled workforce nationally, as well as locally, and offers individuals new and transferable skills that may increase job prospects. This Centre is part of that and we are delighted to formally open it today”.

Nigel Cann, Hinkley Point C Site Construction Director said,

“EDF Energy is investing in the local area to ensure we get the right skills for construction of Hinkley Point C. The Construction Skills and Innovation Centre will play a vital role, with steelfixers trained here already working on our construction site.

“Hinkley Point C will be a major contribution to Britain’s energy future, providing low carbon electricity for 5 million homes and helping to address climate change.”

In his speech, Rt. Hon Matthew Hancock said,

“The top quality training provided by Bridgwater College gives local people the skills they need to get on the career ladder or bulk up their portfolio to get the job they want. The impressive large outdoor work area and modern classrooms help students and local businesses compete and thrive.”

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