A NEW construction and skills centre at Bridgwater College has been described as a ‘one stop shop’ to boost jobs in the area.

Energy Minister Matt Hancock officially opened the Construction Skills and Innovation Centre which replicates a real life construction site, with industry-standard plant, machinery and equipment.

The Construction Skills and Innovation Centre is the result of a £1.5million investment from EDF Energy and offers a new civil engineering curriculum including training in excavation, ground works, concrete pouring, formwork and steel .

Speaking afterwards, the minister said: “The top quality training provided by Bridgwater College gives local people the skills they need to get on the career ladder or bulk up their portfolio to get the job they want. The impressive large outdoor work area and modern classrooms help students and local businesses compete and thrive.”

Andy Berry, Bridgwater College’s viceprincipal, said: “We have been working closely with EDF Energy and industry partners to develop a range of world class training facilities and programmes, with the aim of ensuring that local people and businesses are able to gain maximum benefit from the proposed Hinkley Point C development.

“We’re delighted with the investment from EDF Energy and proud of our national reputation for delivery of high quality training for employers.”

Richard Mayson, EDF Energy’s director of project development for Nuclear New Build, said: “We’re very pleased to deepen our partnership with Bridgwater College, which will play a Construction Skills Centre and Energy Skills Centre Building STEM Skills key role in transforming the South-West into a centre of engineering excellence. This investment will open up exciting new training and employment opportunities for local people.”

Nigel Cann, Hinkley Point C site construction director, said: “EDF Energy is investing in the local area to ensure we get the right skills for construction of Hinkley Point C.

The Construction Skills and Innovation Centre will play a vital role, with steelfixers trained here already working on our construction site.

“Hinkley Point C will be a major contribution to Britain’s energy future, providing low carbon electricity for five million homes and helping to address climate change.”