The new Centre at the College’s South Bristol Skills Academy, near Hengrove park, opens its door this September to new students and apprentices and the new sponsorship deal will see a key construction employer working alongside students and apprentices.
The £9 million project, which has been part-funded by the West of England Combined Authority’s Local Enterprise Partnership, is the latest addition to the new development plan for the area – with new houses and facilities planned for the neighbouring Hengrove Park.
The layout of the new Centre will also allow students to work with key employers on-site. During the planning and construction of the Centre, the College worked closely with employers to ensure it delivered the skills needed in the fast-paced industry as well as provide hundreds of learners with knowledge in a range of disciplines.
One such employer partner is Vistry Partnerships who are the headline sponsor of the new Centre. The College and Vistry have already worked together on a range of projects including the Lockleaze Academy, supporting women into construction and promoting apprenticeship routes.
The three-year sponsorship agreement will see both partners work closely together to provide additional opportunities for students at the College.
Rich Harris, Deputy Principal and Chief Executive at the College, said: “We are delighted Vistry Partnerships are sponsoring the new centre. Working together provides great opportunities for students including work experience, mentoring and, after their studies, potential employment. We are keen to work with as wide a range of employers as possible to give our students real-life insight into the construction sector.”
Marc Thompson, Managing Director of Vistry Partnerships, added: “Vistry Partnerships is delighted to sponsor this excellent facility which will be a huge asset to Bristol in training the next generation of construction workers.
“Due to the well-publicised skills shortage within the sector, anything we can do to encourage and support more people to choose a career in construction is welcome, so that we can continue building the new homes and communities which Bristol needs.
“We look forward to working in partnership with City of Bristol College to ensure that the Construction Skills Centre is a success.”
The new Centre is home to a range construction courses and motor vehicle studies, with traditional construction pathways such as plastering, brickwork, carpentry and professional construction.
The opening of the new Centre will also see the College introduce new courses and topics, such as retro fit-out, to support developments in sustainable construction techniques.
It has already received the government’s Levelling Up Champion Award after being nominated by Bristol South MP Karin Smyth for the Infrastructure For Opportunity goal.
MP Karin Smyth said: “I’m extraordinarily proud of the Advanced Construction Skills Centre winning this award. The dedication of the teaching team, students and all support staff at the centre is second-to-none. This proves to the rest of the country what we already knew to be true in Bristol South: we have the talent and expertise to be trailblazers in skills development, job creation and social infrastructure.”