Group - Civil engineering training centre opens
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Civil engineering training centre opens

A hub specialising in training future leaders in the worlds of construction and civil engineering has officially launched.

The EKC Group Civil Engineering Training Centre’s November 4 launch was attended by local stakeholders and councillors, who got the chance to tour the cutting-edge facilities offered in the new site.

Located on the A28 in Hersden, the 3,000 sq. ft centre will cater for around 300 learners at any one time. Courses on offer range from construction certifications to full civil engineering apprenticeships.

Learners will benefit from outdoor ‘stations’ specifically designed to enhance training in subjects including bricklaying and drainage, as well as indoor training facilities.

The £1.2million centre was built in response to the national skills gap to ensure there are the right skills to deliver economic growth in the local community. The launch comes after a Construction Skills Network report, published earlier this year, suggested a quarter of a million additional construction workers will be needed to meet projected demands in the 2026 UK civil engineering sector.

The facilities were gifted to EKC Group by prolific developer Quinn Estates, who paid for the entire construction of the facilities. It is part of the S.106 obligations for its Hoplands Park development, however Quinn Estates paid £800,000 more than it was obliged to in order to complete the project.

Graham Razey, Chief Executive Officer of EKC Group, said: “As a Group we are committed to addressing skills gaps and ensuring businesses have the talented employees they need to thrive, so we’re proud to launch this fantastic new training centre today. The centre will support employers in the civil engineering sector, enabling them to access the skilled staff they need to continue to flourish and grow.

“Today marks the culmination of a lot of hard work over a number of years, and we are very appreciative of what Quinn Estates has done in delivering our new centre. It is important to recognise the massive social impact that this will have, giving young people the opportunity to build great careers in a growing sector.”

Mark Quinn, CEO and Chairman, Quinn Estates, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch this fantastic new facility for East Kent, providing hundreds of students each year with the transferable skills they will need to thrive in the construction and engineering industries.

“With all the developments we create, leaving a positive community legacy is at the heart of what we do and our development in Hersden is no exception.”