City of Bristol College has been presented with the Levelling Up Award for its efforts to improve Bristol South through its growing provision at its South Bristol Skills Academy, near Hengrove Park.
The College was nominated by Bristol South MP Karin Smyth for the Infrastructure For Opportunity goal. MP Karin Smyth nominated the College for its investment in its construction provision with the new, purpose-built, state-of-the-art £9m Advanced Construction Skills Centre (ACSC).
The Centre, which is on-target and on-budget to open in September, is developing the physical infrastructure to one of the UK’s most deprived areas and is creating more opportunities for people in the local area.
Partially funded by the West of England Combined Authority, the College’s newest centre will feature an outside civils yard, workshops for carpentry, bricklaying, electrical and wet trades and will benefit the whole community. The plans have been made possible thanks to strong support from partners across the city, including UWE Bristol, Bristol City Council, employers and MP Karin Smyth.
Speaking about the award, Principal and Chief Executive, Andy Forbes, said: “We are thrilled to receive this award and would like to thank Bristol South MP Karin Smyth for the nomination and her ongoing support.
City of Bristol College is dedicated to investing in Bristol as we emerge from coronavirus and get the local economy going again. This Centre is literally all about building for the future, through training people in new, environmentally friendly construction methods as well as traditional skills. We are confident it will be a great success and become a construction skills hub for the city.”
The new south Bristol landmark has been built with both sustainability and green construction in mind and the training at the centre will also focus on this. This move has been prompted by the huge demand locally, regionally and nationally for the College’s training to incorporate a significant element of sustainability to reflect modern methods of construction and to deliver relevant skills.
MP Karin Smyth, who nominated the College, said: “I’m extraordinarily proud of the Advanced Construction Skills Centre in Bristol winning the ‘Goal 11 – Infrastructure for Opportunity’ Levelling Up Award 2021. The dedication of the teaching team, students and all support staff at the centre is second-to-none.
“This proves to the rest of the country what we already knew to be true in Bristol South: we have the talent and expertise to be trailblazers in skills development, job creation and social inclusion. The purpose built, £9 million state-of-the-art skills facility will open fully in September allowing a new generation of young people to unlock their potential.
“As we recover from Covid-19, we need to see more places replicating the success of the City of Bristol College. I will continue to encourage our young people into Further Education so they can unlock their talents and achieve their dreams.”
It is estimated there will be more than 22,000 jobs in the construction sector by next year and the ACSC will help to develop the talent the sector requires in order to continue to grow.
When the Centre was being developed, the College and WECA formed an Employers’ Board with large employers and SMEs to ensure the Centre would meet the needs of employer partners and businesses.
MPs from across the UK were able to nominate organisations for 14 different award categories and had cross-party backing and are co-chaired by former Minister for Public Health and loneliness champion Seema Kennedy and Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington.