LEEDS College of Building has appointed Ian Hirst as Faculty Director of Construction Crafts to manage the College’s construction craft courses and curriculum.

Subjects and careers that Ian will now oversee include bricklaying, painting and decorating, roof slating and tiling, wall and floor tiling, plastering and wood occupations.  These courses typically deliver qualifications to a combined total of more than 1,000 full-time students and apprentices at any one time.  In addition, he will head up the College’s 14 to 16 Skills Academy, which offers construction related education programmes and qualifications to more than 175 local school pupils each year.

Ian brings a wealth of experience to the position after previously heading up the Craft Construction and Engineering department at Oldham College, before joining the leadership team at Greater Manchester University Technical College, which specialises in civil engineering and sustainability.

Upon commencing his new role, Ian says: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last 12 years working in construction education and felt the time was right to move to the next level.  As the UK’s only specialist further education construction college, Leeds College of Building is where I aspired to work, because it’s the recognised leader when it comes to best practice in construction training and education. 

“It’s an exciting move because the construction industry currently offers young people and school leavers more career and progression opportunities than ever before.  This is something we’re keen to capitalise on and we’re already building on our relationships with local schools across the region by launching a new week long work experience programme for pupils.  This is designed to offer an insight into a wide range of trades as well as giving school pupils the opportunity to produce meaningful and tangible work that they can keep.”

Ian Billyard, Principal at Leeds College of Building, says: “Ian is a superb addition to our team.  He has an established background in construction education and has both the experience and knowledge to strategically lead the Construction Faculty as we continue building on the high standards of training that we are renowned for.”

Leeds College of Building offers more than 200 courses across a huge range of disciplines, and has built a reputation for first-class education and training.  The College is an approved Apprenticeship Levy provider and offers a wide range of Apprenticeships in traditional trades and technical Apprenticeship routes, together with two Higher Level Apprenticeships in Construction Management (Sustainability) covering four Pathways (Building Surveying, Quantity Surveying, Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering) and Facilities Management which offer university equivalent work based education.

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