A major new development funded by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority sees a state-of-the-art Construction Hub at the Cambridge Regional College (@CRC_College) Huntingdon Campus. The Hub is designed to support construction skills development in the region to support the growing job market in the sector.
Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson, said,
“Construction is a big industry for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, employing a lot of people. But the potential for this sector is so much greater, with firms finding it a real struggle to find enough people with the right skills.
“This Construction Hub will help young people as well as adults looking to upskill to find great careers offering good pay, and where demand is high.
As Mayor I’m also tasked with accelerating and unlocking the delivery of new housing, and I want as many of those homes as possible to be built by local firms, employing locally trained, highly skilled people.”
Cambridge Regional College is the largest provider of construction training in the region and the new Huntingdon campus development is set to address high levels of skills shortages, in occupational areas including construction, electrical, brickwork and carpentry – all of which will be catered for in the new facility. The Hub will see a further 180 people trained each year, including school leavers, adults, and apprentices. This facility will also see the creation of nine direct employment opportunities at Cambridge Regional College.
Principal Mark Robertson said,
“We are delighted that the new training facilities at our Huntingdon campus will provide industry standard training for many more people to develop the skills they need for good jobs in the construction industry. With the construction sector booming in the region, this is the perfect time for students to gain the skills that will give them great employment opportunities.
The development is being project managed by Fusion Project Management, with Noble House as the main contractor, both of whom have worked flexibly with the College to accommodate student needs whilst undertaking the work. The final stages of the project are set for completion in September 2021 and will already be welcoming an increased number of students starting in the 21/22 academic year through the increased capacity it provides.
This development has come at a time of high demand, with a 2018 CITB study identifying Huntingdon as the location for the largest percentage of The Combined Authority’s 9000 construction employers, accounting for 12% of all firms, many of which are small to medium enterprises. With further data suggesting that there is a shortage of around 15,000 skilled people in the Eastern region, and 47% of all vacancies in the construction industry remaining unfilled due to skills shortages, the Construction Hub is identified as a key enabler of further economic development in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and Local Industrial Strategy (LIS).
Over the next decade, the Eastern region is set to see the development of 100,000 new homes, including transport development projects for the A10, A505, A47, and A428, the University of Cambridge North-West project and ARU Peterborough – a new university for the city.
Huntingdon campus is centrally located to these major developments and as such will continue to grow as an educational training facility to meet the increasing demands of the Eastern region.
Study Programme Lead, Brian Mussino said,
“The new carpentry workshops, with spacious machine workshop, will make a considerable difference to the teaching and learning experience at the Huntingdon campus of CRC.
Students coming through the doors will be able to train in a modern, well-equipped environment, that will enable them to carry out their practical and theory assessments in a way that simulates working onsite, from fitting kitchens and stairs to roofing and joisting, studwork and door hanging.
The space provides opportunities for more students and apprentices to develop their skills to meet the ever-growing demand for skilled workers in the construction industry.”