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New Low Carbon Construction Centre announced for West Midlands

New Low Carbon Construction Centre announced for West Midlands

A leading Midlands college group has been awarded £900k to create a new facility in Rugby focusing on low carbon construction to help close the skills gap in this area and support economic growth across the region.

WCG (Warwickshire College Group) is set to launch a Low Carbon Construction Centre at Rugby College after being awarded £900,000 of Local Skills Improvement Funds (LSIF) by the Department for Education.

The centre will focus on low carbon techniques and future housing, specialising in heat pumps and solar, to support regional skills needs.

It will be based in an existing building on the college site which is not currently in use, and is anticipated to officially open in September 2024.

The centre will initially deliver short courses for small businesses before expanding into apprenticeships and then integrating into WCG’s full time Further Education courses.

WCG is now calling on businesses in the construction industry to get in touch to help shape the centre’s facilities as well as contribute to the development of the curriculum.

Alan May, Director of Apprenticeships at WCG, said:

“We are extremely pleased to be awarded this funding by the Department for Education.

“As we move towards Net Zero there is an increasing focus on low carbon construction, for example the installation of ground-source and air-source heat pumps, and we will be ensuring that both current and future workforces have the skills that they need to deliver this.

“Our new facility will involve the repurposing of an existing building, and the Rugby College site already has the infrastructure in place for a ground source heat pump which we will be using for demonstrations.

“We are now looking to collaborate with construction businesses, ensuring that they are involved from the start of the process and that the specific needs of the industry help shape not only the facility itself, but what skills are delivered there.

“We’ll also be looking to engage with employers when the facility is open to act as subject experts and deliver guest lectures.

“The funding will also be used to develop e-learning which we will create in conjunction with other colleges across the region to ensure it meets the needs of the whole of the West Midlands.”

The LSIF funding is in response to the region’s Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) which was developed by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, working in conjunction with Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Black Country Chamber of Commerce, alongside a host of skills providers and firms, and with strategic oversight from West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The Department for Education awarded £10,304,523 of LSIF to the region – the highest amount for any area of the UK.

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