Banbury and Bicester College is to launch new facilities for training in construction and carpentry as it seeks to meet local skills needs.
The college is investing in a new workshop and build space at its Banbury campus in Broughton Road as part of a redevelopment scheme.
The new facilities will include industry-standard tools and equipment, a dedicated machine shop and a large workshop ideal for outsized projects such as creating roof rigs.
The college is calling on more young people to consider a career in the construction industry due to growing demand locally and nationally.
Research by Randstad CPE, recruitment specialists in the construction, property and engineering sector showed that the UK construction sector faces a 100,000 worker shortfall by 2050; second only to the teaching profession.
John Kelly, head of learning for construction at Banbury and Bicester College said: “It’s a great time to consider a career in construction, which is a major growth area both nationally and in the local area.
“In both Banbury and Bicester there are significant housing and retail development schemes underway, for example 1,000 new homes at Longford Park, the expansion of Caste Quay shopping centre and the 20 year eco-town project in Bicester.
“The construction industry offers fantastic career progression and opportunities to earn good money. Current rates for experienced construction workers are between £750 and £1,500 a week, or more.”
Banbury and Bicester College provides full-time courses in carpentry and joinery, construction and site carpentry for those aged 16 and over, together with a range of professional courses and apprenticeships.
Students joining the college in September will benefit from the new facilities, which involve relocating and improving the existing construction workshops.
Rose Turner, principal at Banbury and Bicester College, said: “This latest investment is part of our long-term strategy to provide the best possible facilities for vocational learning in the local area. It follows the refurbishment of our creative arts centre and the opening of our new creative media and motor vehicle centres, representing an investment of more than £12 million in the last six years. We hope that these new facilities will encourage many more young people to get the skills and qualifications needed for a rewarding future career.”