College Builds for Construction Skills Growth

Recognising the future demands for skilled construction workers locally and regionally, Selby College, working with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has begun work on a new £1.4m project to redevelop its existing Aspiration Building facilities specifically for training young people and adults in a variety of construction skills trades.

Acting on the latest recruitment and employment research data for the Yorkshire region, the college successfully bid for funds to develop its construction skills training facilities in order to help plug the growing skills crisis in the industry by providing, Brickwork, Carpentry and Joinery, Plastering, Plumbing and Electrical Installation courses.

Enabling work has already started on the college’s Abbot’s Road Campus, extending the existing building to provide approximately 500sqm of additional floor space; consisting of a large extension and a mezzanine floor with access from the main body of the extension. As well as developing the Aspiration Building, the 23week project will release more space on the site that will allow the top-performing college to grow its already successful Powerskills Engineering programmes, helping to continue providing support to that industry also. 

Expected to open in the Spring 2017, the redevelopment includes the creation of 40 additional car parking spaces to the north west corner of the existing car park.

As Allan Stewart OBE, Principal and Chief Executive said, “At a time when many construction industry observers are predicting the biggest skills shortages in the sector for a generation, I am pleased to see Selby College, through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnerships funded extension of the Aspiration Building, will be at the forefront providing an increased range of construction training programmes to equip young people and adults with the skills needed now and in future whilst also providing them with the opportunity to enter a solid career, with great earning potential and prospects.”

The project has benefitted from £0.7m funding from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal. The Leeds City Region Growth Deal is a £1 billion-plus deal between the LEP and government to help transform the Leeds City Region economy.

The Growth Deal is being delivered jointly by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to boost jobs and growth across the whole of Leeds City Region. 

Stephanie Burras, Chair of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Panel said: “New research shows that there is £13 billion of construction work in Leeds City Region over the next three years and we need to ensure we are helping develop the pipeline of talent to meet this demand.

That is why we are supporting projects such as Selby College’s construction skills facilities with our Growth Deal funding. The project will help upskill local people and provide new skills opportunities to ensure we retain talent in our region. I am delighted we have been able to support this project and look forward to watching the site progress.”

To enable local residents to see the plans of the new building and leave feedback, the college has arranged a display of the plans, to take place on Thursday 8 December in the Atrium area of the main Jubilee Building from 9.30am-16.00pm.

Published: Wednesday 30 Nov 2016