A COLLEGE in Hampshire is being saluted for responding to employers’ needs by training young people for the civil engineering and construction trades.

Development worth an estimated £15billion is planned in the county over the next five years but the construction sector is unable to meet the demand for the necessary skills.

Fareham College worked with the Solent Civil Engineering Group to design a Civil Engineering and Groundworks Training Initiative. It consists of an apprenticeship programme, workforce upskilling and a purpose-built Civil Engineering Training Centre.

The initiative has earned Fareham College selection as a finalist in the Association of Colleges Beacon Awards. It is up for the City & Guilds Award for College Engagement with Employers.

The not-for-profit Association of Colleges (AoC) is the national voice for further education, sixth form, tertiary and specialist colleges in England.

Andrew Kaye, principal and chief executive of Fareham College, said: “Employability is at the heart of the Fareham College mindset. Working together with employers to directly address a recognised sector challenge, through the development of a skilled workforce, is invaluable for our students, for our employers and for the local and regional economic development as a whole.

“To be recognised for our efforts towards employer engagement as a finalist in the AoC Beacon Awards is an excellent achievement for the college and our partners.”

The college says its £4.1million Civil Engineering Training Centre will deliver a wide range of apprenticeships and professional development courses.

David Richadson, director of CETC and construction at the college, said: “The Civil Engineering Training Centre offers unique civil engineering apprenticeship programmes and professional training. This state-of-the-art facility is pioneering a change in the way in which construction industry training will be delivered, allowing us to provide long-term support to this important sector.”

Applications to study at the Civil Engineering Training Centre are now open to start training in March 2020. Applications close on Friday, January 17.

The AoC Beacon Award winners will be announced at the TES FE Awards in association with the AoC Beacon Awards national ceremony in London on Friday, March 20.