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New £1m construction skills centre to open in Bicester

16th Jul 2020

A new apprenticeship training centre, specialising in the construction industry, is set to open in Bicester early next year.

Launched as part of Abingdon & Witney College’s apprenticeship programme, the announcement was made following planning permission approval for the £1m refurbishment of four former warehouse units on Churchill Road.

The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) secured £934,611 of funding for the project via the government’s Local Growth Fund.

Since its inception in 2011, OxLEP – with its partners – has secured over £650m-worth of government funding for Oxfordshire, which has seen more than 50,000 new jobs created in the county to-date.

The state-of-the-art facility will provide exciting opportunities for apprentices to train for the fast-growing property maintenance sector, alongside traditional, professional trades in plumbing, electrical installation, carpentry and joinery. The first cohort of apprentices will start in February 2021.

The centre will house the type of industry-standard equipment that apprentices will find in the workplace, including a professional gas centre, electrical training bays for wiring regulation training and a large carpentry workshop.

Apprentices will be supported by the College’s Ofsted Outstanding apprenticeship team and will be taught by industry experts. Work on the Centre started at the beginning of July and is expected to completed by January 2021.