A high-tech £1 million centre to train the construction workers of tomorrow has been officially opened at Telford College.
The development is the first phase of a £5 million investment into the college. Students have been learning in the new construction centre since the start of term but it was officially opened by Tom Gray, CEO of Southwater Group, today.
More than £1 million has been spent on the centre, which has been converted from the old sports hall.
The centre contains more than 20 multi-purpose workspaces, available for civil engineering, construction, electrical installation, plumbing and bricklaying.
Janet Ellis, principal at TCAT, said: “It’s fantastic. We are giving students both young and old the opportunity to access fantastic facilities and train for real employment opportunities.”
Mr Gray said: “I feel very honoured to open what looks like a fantastic and a much- needed facility.
“For me, there can be no greater honour for this building than to see its graduates helping in building the future of Telford.”
The building was transformed in a six-month project that also helped take advantage of having a work site at the college, with developers McPhillips (Wellington) taking on apprentices.
About 175 days of work were completed during the project through apprenticeships, the equivalent of having two apprentices on site at all times.
The centre also uses advanced technology to help students, including video recording equipment, computers integrated into desks and iPads. Ian Millington, a lecturer at the college, said: “The students have grown up with this technology. We haven’t, but we will help bring TCAT into the 21st century.”
The centre will be used by 80 full-time students, 60 part time students, 30 intermediate apprentices and 20 advanced apprentices. There is also an area for forklift truck training, which will be used as a test centre during the summer.
About 45 students from eight schools from around Telford and Wrekin were given a tour of the centre as well as careers advice as part of the opening.
Representatives from local businesses and Telford & Wrekin Council were also in attendance for the opening.