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Cheshire and Warrington colleges build construction’s digital future with grant from the Local Enterprise Partnership

Skills Digital Skills Partnership Funding 31/03/2021

The funding will help improve digital skills in construction

Further Education Colleges in Cheshire and Warrington have received a £260,000 grant from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help implement the digital skills in construction project.

The grant will support the development of Advanced Construction Training (ACT) across Cheshire and Warrington, with the main hub situated at Warrington & Vale Royal College’s Warrington campus and spokes at Cheshire College – South & West, Macclesfield College, Reaseheath College and UTC Warrington.

Partner colleges, the UTC Warrington and employers will work together to develop, commercialise and promote digital technologies and skills training for the construction industry. The ACT project will support the practical and commercial challenges faced by construction companies and support them to adopt digital and automated/ robotic construction techniques such as augmented and virtual reality, digital scanning of land and mass production through digital routers. In doing this, the project will assist the industry to build high-quality, smart, green, and efficient building infrastructures, faster, cheaper, and more sustainable than ever before.

New specialist equipment will enable the partner colleges to develop into sub-regional ‘centres of excellence’ for advanced construction that meets employers and the LEP’s stated ambition to raise levels of productivity and innovation to compete at the highest level. In addition to the partner colleges, the specialist equipment will be accessible to employers, other training providers and schools across Cheshire and Warrington and the sub-region.

Dhesi, Principal and CEO at Cheshire College – South & West, said: “Innovation is at the heart of our ambitions and our collaboration with partner colleges and employers allows us to deliver bespoke digital and STEM-related training in order to support Industry 4.0 developments, ultimately supporting growth in the construction, nuclear and allied industries and meeting the need for digitally-skilled structural engineers and surveyors.”

Clare Hayward, chair of the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said: “By improving access to digital skills training we are helping to create employment opportunities for local people and supporting businesses by addressing key skills gaps. ACT is one of four Cheshire College – South & West projects to receive backing, bringing the total we have invested to £5 million – this investment will positively impact individuals, businesses and therefore the region.”