Construction skills centre to be launched

South Essex College is to open a new construction skills centre in Basildon, it has been announced.

Set to be operational from 2017, the new facility will provide students with training in painting, decorating, carpentry, joinery, brickwork and plastering, as well as construction management.

It aims to support economic growth, increase the number of apprenticeships and address the regional skills shortage in the sector.

The skills centre is being developed in partnership with Redrow Homes and will be based on the site of the Basildon Sports Centre in Nethermayne on Dry Street. Redrow is working on a 725-home scheme in the area.

Students will be able to access the development site, where 181 homes are currently being built as part of phase one, take part in workshops and work experience.

“Industry figures show that Essex is one of the top three areas nationwide for job creation in housing,” explained Keith Parrett, Redrow's regional chief executive.

“We have developed this training provision in response to the growth of the construction industry,” added Anthony McGarel, deputy principal and chief executive of South Essex College. “The centre will provide courses that give local people the opportunity to fill available jobs in the sector and it will support economic growth in south Essex.”

Work is also under way on a new campus for South Essex College in Basildon town centre.

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