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Weston College's new Construction Training Centre bridges the skills gap

Weston College’s new Construction Training Centre is now open for business and ready to help tackle the growing skills shortage in the construction industry.

This project is a partnership with Somax Ltd and Simian Risk Group. Somax specialised in driver training across the South West and Simian is a world-renowned scaffolding training and health and safety consultancy provider, specialising in workplace access and working at height.

The new site is conveniently situated just off the M5 at junction 21. It provides training at the point-of-need for businesses, their employees and private individuals.

The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) match-funded the project with some £3.3m through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority.

The centre provides training in six key industry areas:

  • Plant operations – taking place in a 1.5-acre area and includes training in the use of construction vehicles such as 360° excavators, dumpers and telescopic handlers.
  • Scaffolding – the scaffolding hall is 10 metres high and has a 1,000m2 indoor practical area.
  • Highways and groundwork – a dedicated training space mirroring activity for preparing sites for groundwork. Examples include cutting into tarmac, laying foundations and pipework, installing drainage, coning-off highways and setting-up temporary traffic lights.
  • Health and safety – the college provides the health and safety training courses that everyone working on a construction site needs, including the H&S Awareness and CSCS Labourer Card.
  • Driver training – the centre includes a training area for manoeuvring lorries, large passenger vehicles and cars with trailers. DVSA tests are conducted from the centre including Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC), ADR and Operators CPC.
  • Warehouse and forklifting – the centre offers warehouse-related training, such as counterbalance and reach truck forklift courses.

As well as the ‘practical’ training areas and equipment, the centre also includes a canteen, changing facilities, an IT suite, reception, six classrooms and test and exam rooms.

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