Work is underway at City College Plymouth on an exciting new facility that will enhance training in construction subjects as the College progresses in its vision to support the city’s aspirations to drive economic growth.

After being approved as a provider of the new T Level qualifications, the College was also successful in bidding for £750,000 to revamp its construction facilities and develop a centre of excellence that will revolutionise training and help mitigate the current skills gap in the construction.

The new Future Skills Centre: Construction which will open in September of this year, will benefit from four new state-of-the-art workshops that will include some of the latest specialist equipment to support the delivery of the new Construction and Building Services Engineering T Level pathways. The project will also make the site more energy-efficient in line with the College’s Estates Strategic Action.

Chief Executive of City College Plymouth, Jackie Grubb, said: “We were delighted to discover we had been awarded the funds by the Department for Education to embark on this huge and exciting project. The College is also investing £250,000 into the centre, which will benefit from more space for practical learning, and will also support us in our plans to become a digital-first provider of education.

“Having seen just how much impact our new Augmented Reality Welding Suite is having on students and employers, we plan to research and develop how this type of technology can be utilised by other sectors. Those studying construction and engineering will get to experience the facilities offered in the centre to develop their digital skills, particularly in relation to BIM and CAD/CAM design. Digital underpins our entire curriculum at City College as part of our digital strategic action.

The College has already received a flurry of applications from current Year 11s who are excited to be the first cohort of students to study the new T Level qualifications at the College. T Levels are aimed at pupils likely to gain a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 or above who are looking for an alternative to A Levels and combine classroom and workplace learning to ensure students can confidently move into work or university on completion of their course.

T Levels will play a key part in rebuilding the economy after the pandemic, boosting access to high-quality technical education and will broaden the opportunities for young people who wish to enter a large and varied industry, increasing the accessibility of opportunities to people from all backgrounds and helping to develop a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Having been developed in consultation with employers, T Levels have a particular focus on the knowledge, skills and behaviours most in demand by the different sectors.