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National Construction College secures its future

The National Construction College (NCC) is celebrating after the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has agreed in principle to provide just over £17 million in capital funding. The lifeline comes after months of discussions about a package to help the UK’s largest provider of specialist construction training undertake essential redevelopment work to its main campus in Bircham Newton, Norfolk.

Over the past few months the college has been working closely with the LSC in an attempt to secure the future of its centre at Bircham Newton. The new package is drawn from the National Skills Academy for Construction (NSAfC) capital funding model for the vital improvements to the college’s infrastructure.

The National Skills Academy for Construction is part of a network of employer-led centres of excellence, delivering the skills needed by each major sector of the economy. The concept behind it is that training, practice and assessment are delivered on-site, at the point where the highly-fragmented construction supply chain comes together.

Skills Minister David Lammy gave his congratulations and restated the importance of such training provision, “We are amidst the busiest building programme in the UK since the war so I am extremely pleased that we have been able to confirm this support for a college that makes such a vital contribution to the construction industry. In today’s age of global competition, investing in the skills of new entrants and those already in the workforce has never been more important.”

David Way, Director of Skills at the Learning and Skills Council said: “We are pleased to be working closely with ConstructionSkills and the National Construction College to help ensure that the facility at Bircham Newton can offer high quality realistic learning environments for the construction industry and play an important part in the National Skills Academy for Construction.”

David Boyden, Director of National Construction College stated: “This is the news we’ve been hoping for; it means we can continue to deliver specialist construction training to an industry that we have served for over 40 years.”

Colin Wood, chief executive of the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA), expressed relief at the news: “This year alone, the industry will see the start of 13,000 projects worth £160bn and the industry remains extremely buoyant, so a steady supply of skilled people is an absolute necessity. The National Construction College has been an indispensable industry resource for over 40 years, so today’s news is of great importance, not only for the thousands of trainees that come through its doors each year, but for the industry and its ability to deliver essential construction programmes well into the future.”

The next steps for the college will be to ensure it meets all expectations for the funding package.

To find out more about NCC’s wide range of first class specialist courses, delivered at 5 college campuses and at over 60 other locations throughout the UK please call 0844 844 0466 for your copy of the 2008 NCC prospectus.

And remember if you are an employer registered with CITB-ConstructionSkills you could be eligible to claim your share of the £140 million worth of CITB-ConstructionSkills Grants available this year (2007/2008) to contribute to your training costs. For more information on CITB-ConstructionSkills Grants please visit www.cskills.org

To keep up to date with all the latest news on what ConstructionSkills is doing and discover how your company can get involved in helping secure the future of the UK construction industry register for the Skills Update

National Construction College main campus in Bicham Newton, Norfolk

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