School Building Magazine editor Joe Bradbury discusses his visit to Dudley College, where students are learning the true value of offsite.

 

The construction industry is changing and needs a workforce that is trained in new and innovative construction methods to meet the industry’s future needs.

Having recognised the challenges facing the sector, Dudley College of Technology (with a significant contribution by the Local Growth Fund) has invested over £12m in Dudley Advance II, a Centre for Advanced Building Technologies.

After hearing this, I paid Black Country based offsite company Totally Modular a visit for a tour around their factory. Whilst in the area, Sales Manager Brian Maunder very kindly took me to Dudley College, where fascinating things are happening in terms of educating the next generation of budding construction professionals.

Brian recently donated one of his modular homes to the college, which is currently under construction within the actual walls of the campus.

About Dudley Advance II

Advance II provides skills development in high level Building Services Engineering, Civil Engineering, Construction Design and Building Information Modelling. It is the first of its kind in the FE sector offering students training in the latest construction techniques.

Supported by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Local Growth Fund through Midlands Engine, we are working in partnership with leading employers across the region, who are embracing new technologies – ensuring that your training gives you the skills that they are looking for from their future workforce.

With a focus on Higher level Apprenticeships, Level 3+ qualifications and progression to degree level courses the centre is supporting the modernisation of skills development across the construction industry.

Who is it for?

The new Centre for Advanced Building Technologies is for bright, ambitious individuals who want to learn new and exciting processes so they can be part of the changing face of construction.

They are also eager to work with businesses who can play a part in the development of skills and by joining forces, the college and construction companies can secure a better future. By contributing towards and influencing the college’s curriculum training will better meet the needs of your business. Download our Advance II booklet for more information.

Dudley Advance II provides:

  • Apprenticeships at advanced and higher levels in a range of new and traditional trades
  • Full-time courses that appeal to talented students progressing from school or from lower level qualifications
  • Professional and technical upskilling through a range of shorter programmes aimed at upskilling the existing workforce in developing techniques such as BIM.

The college aim to provide their students with the tools they need set themselves up with a career for life. The Construction department offers courses in areas such as bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, heating and ventilation, engineering, mechanical services, plastering, plumbing and refrigeration and air-conditioning engineering.

On top of this, Dudley College of Technology also recently announced that it has been awarded the Centre Manager contract for the Waltham Forest Council-led Construction Training Centre in Leyton, East London.  Working in partnership with Simian Risk, the Uk’s leading scaffolding training provider, the college will take over the day-to-day running of the centre, which was previously run by CITB as part of its raft of raining centres across the country. The new centre to be known as Advance – Technical Engineering and Construction Training Centre, will offer full-cost, full-funded and Apprenticeship training to residents and businesses across the southern regions.

Dudley College will develop a broad construction training offer which will both meet the demands of traditional trades, while also providing the high-quality training required to meet the needs of an evolving industry, which excitingly includes training courses on Virtual Reality, digital technology and modern methods of construction.

The centre’s proposed programme of activity aligns to the London Mayor’s Construction Academy (MCA) Scheme, which aims to close the gap between the ambitious targets for new build housing and the need for more skilled construction workers across the capital to bring this about.

Commenting on the development, Neil Thomas College Principal of Dudley College of Technology said “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to bring the expertise we have developed in the West Midlands in our Construction Apprenticeship Training Centre and our new centres for manufacturing and advanced building technologies to this area. We are confident we can build on the existing provision and do even more to address the huge skills needs of the sector in this locality.”

We will push for a programme of training that is 100 per cent linked to employment and job progression opportunities; and tackles current skills shortages in the borough and across London, while providing insight and qualifications on the latest methods of delivery.”

Dudley College of Technology are one of twenty outstanding further education colleges in the UK and are considered a national leader of training in modern methods of construction delivery.  And they are one of twelve institutions nationwide to be selected by the Department of Education to develop a one of their flagship Institutes of Technology.

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