A NEW North East construction academy has been opened by shadow business secretary John Denham and is designed to help plug the skills gap in time for a recovery in the building sector.
East Durham’s College has launched its new Technical Academy in Peterlee, County Durham.
It offers students a realistic training environment and industry-standard facilities including workshop areas, classrooms and an IT suite.
The site offers students a range of qualifications to ensure the next generation of construction trade workers receive practical and relevant training, with areas covered including electrical installation and maintenance, fitted interiors, plastering, wall and floor tiling and roofing.
It is also developing training programmes in renewable energy technologies with training also available for those already practising in the building trade.
Denham said: “The Technical Academy is a great facility and I am delighted that East Durham College is making such a commitment to equipping their learners with the skills needed to compete for the jobs of the future.
“Now more than ever, it is important to continue investing in career specialisation expertise, so people have the skills to help them succeed at every level of their career and businesses can grow with a professional and knowledgeable workforce.
“This will be particularly important for the East Durham area and the North East region to improve skills and support and grow business as the Government reduces opportunities for learners.”
Many of the college’s industry partners, which include national housebuilder Frank Haslam Milan, Kier Group, Howdens Joinery, and local employers such as East Durham Homes and Harbro Electrical, are offering on-site work placements for the academy’s learners as well as regular product and training demonstrations.
East Durham College principal Stuart Wesselby said: “I am so proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time setting up this fantastic facility which provides a highly professional training environment creating real-world scenarios for our learners.
“We have provided a facility that makes us the focal point in the North East for people wanting to train as plumbers, plasterers, electricians, tilers or gas engineers.”