From education to employment

Building work gets underway on City College Norwich’s £4.4m construction skills centre  


Work has begun on a new skills centre that will help City College Norwich (@norwichcollege) train more young people for careers in the construction industry.

The ground was broken today at the college’s Ipswich Road campus where the £4.4m building is being constructed by MJS Projects. Funding for the new building has come from the Department for Education’s Post-16 Capacity Fund, with the college investing approximately £400,000 of its own funds into the project.    

The two-storey construction skills centre, which has been designed by LSI Architects, is being built next to the college’s existing bricklaying and carpentry and joinery workshops.

The new workshops within the construction skills centre have been designed for maximum flexibility, so they can be adapted in the future as industry demand for different trades evolves.

Meeting increased demand for electrical training

Much of the new workshop capacity within the 1,200 m² building will be given over to electrical training, with the college seeing particularly strong demand for places on its T Level Foundation Year (Electrical) and T Level Building Services Engineering (Electrical).

The increased demand for electrical training reflects the attractive salary opportunities and long-term career prospects for electricians.

The energy transition is a key driver of this, with electricians needed to work in the renewable energy sector and in other roles that support the transition to a low carbon economy, such as expanding the infrastructure needed for charging electrical vehicles.

Students to learn from the project

With construction work on the new building set to continue until December, the college is working with MJS Projects to give construction students plenty of opportunities to learn from the build.

T Level students in Design and Surveying, Plumbing, and Electrical, have begun a series of regular site visits to learn from MJS Projects team about specific aspects of the project that tie in with their curriculum.  

David Henry, Director at MJS Projects, commented:

“The construction industry has a skills shortage. As a local company, MJS Projects is passionate about developing students’ understanding of the many varied careers the construction industry can offer. In delivering this new Construction Skills facility for City College Norwich, we will take this fantastic opportunity to link our site activities, the role of the designers, and the wider project team to the students’ learning, enhancing their studies with real-life practical experience.”

Prospective construction students advised to apply early

Liv Bradley, Head of Construction at City College Norwich, commented:

“Seeing work start on the new skills centre is a really exciting milestone for construction training at City College Norwich. We have a comprehensive offer, from entry level multi-skills, to trade Diplomas, T Levels, Apprenticeships and Higher Apprenticeships, with our students benefitting from great support from employers in the construction sector in Norfolk.

“Applications for our construction courses starting in September are up again and the new construction skills centre is going to be very busy once it is ready for teaching, playing a particularly important role for students and apprentices on our electrical courses. My advice to Year 10 students who hope to join a construction course with us in 2025/26, and learn in these great new facilities, is to apply as soon as possible after applications open on 1st October.”                     

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