Building the future has begun at Whitehill and Bordon’s brand new Future Skills Centre – and the new training facility has been officially opened by the Minister of State for Employment, Damian Hinds MP.
The innovative new building, built by Hampshire County Council and substantially funded by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), was officially handed over, on 13 October 2017, to Basingstoke College of Technology, which is operating the centre, and providing its comprehensive range of vocational training courses in the construction sector, including apprenticeships.
The Home and Communities Agency secured an award of £3.8 million to fund the project, through the Local Growth Fund Grant from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, and then selected the County Council to build the new facility and identify an operator. The County Council also put £250,000 towards the building costs for the new centre.
Although the focus is on training for the construction sector, the centre is the new local hub for technical training and will host a broad adult and community learning programme for the wider community.
The first cohort of students is already taking courses at the centre, developing skills in carpentry, brickwork, plumbing and the built environment. Both full time and part time study options are available, as well as apprenticeships.
At the opening ceremony, Damian Hinds MP said: “I was delighted to be part of the official opening of the Future Skills Centre, and to meet students already at work in the new facility. The transformation of the whole Enterprise Zone is truly impressive, and the FSC is a key part of the vision to deliver first- class construction skills that can be used across the Whitehill and Bordon re-generation programme and elsewhere. It’s certainly an exciting time for the area and I would encourage any young person with an interest in construction to take a look at the courses available.”
Anthony Bravo, Principal of Basingstoke College of Technology said: “We’re proud to be playing an important role in training and upskilling the next generation of site operatives and construction professionals. Our curriculum is specifically designed to directly target the current skills needs in the area and together with our investment of just under £200,000 on fitting out the centre and our outstanding industry and employer links, students will be exposed to the latest technologies, designs and developments in the industry.”
“We are pleased by the results of our investments in the area and remain committed to the wider redevelopment of Whitehill & Bordon.”
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education, Councillor Peter Edgar said: “The Future Skills Centre is the latest in a series of new, world class technical training facilities we’re delivering across the county, which will transform the skills infrastructure in Hampshire. I’m proud that the Homes and Communities Agency selected the County Council to deliver this ambitious project, and delighted to see the students here who are already on their way to bright new careers in the construction sector.”
The new centre is one part of the master plan to extend and regenerate the town following the departure of the Army training facilities in 2015 and closure of the Bordon Army Garrison - the principal employer in the area. The County Council is actively involved in the provision of the new infrastructure, vital to support the town, including constructing a £20 million relief road that will tie in with the A325 to the north and south of Whitehill and Bordon, and improving school facilities.
The core curriculum at the Future Skills Centre reflects the skills needed in the area, which have been identified by the Construction Industry Training Board, and confirmed by consultation with developers and contractors involved in the regeneration project.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has been working with Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) and Stagecoach to address car park capacity issues at the college and to combat associated problems with parking in the area.
On production of their BCoT ID card, BCoT students will be able to park their car at the Leisure Park and use the Centre Shuttle bus service which runs daily between 7am to 10.30pm, for just 75p return.
The Stagecoach Megarider ticket will also now be accepted on this bus, so anyone with one of these tickets will be able to use it instead of paying cash.
The bus drops off and picks up from the bus stop on Churchill Way West by Sinclair Drive, a short and easy walk from BCoT.
It is hoped that this convenient and cheap way to travel to and from the college will help students find a parking place more easily and reduce the number of students’ cars parked close to the college.
Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety Cllr Simon Bound said: “We’ve worked with the college and with Stagecoach to provide this additional service on the Centre Shuttle which we hope that many students will take advantage of.
“We’ve listened to concerns from local residents about parking in the area around the college, and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to work with our partners to help to combat this.”
Anthony Bravo, Principal of BCoT, said: “Our partnership with the council and Stagecoach has brought about an innovative solution for both students, residents and the college.
"Students now have a cheap and convenient alternative to parking on campus which we are sure will be of benefit to them and to the local community.”
Register your interest now for the chance to visit New York in February 2018.
This year, BCoT students have the exciting opportunity to visit the Big Apple for a 6-day trip which includes visiting all the major New York landmarks and popular sightseeing locations including Grand Central Station, The Empire State Building, Times Square and Central Park and many more. You will get a feel for the atmosphere and hustle and bustle of "the city that never sleeps" with excursions to China Town, Little Italy and your own free time to explore on your own.
The trip departs on Sunday 11 February and returns on Friday 16 February 2018.
To sign-up for this fantastic trip, a deposit of £100 will need to be paid by the deadline of Monday 18th September 2017. The total cost of the trip is £933 which can be done through a payment plan of instalments, or through the BCoT online shop.
The trip is on a first come, first served basis with 22 spots available, make sure you aren’t the one to miss out. Once you have signed-up, you are invited to attend an information evening on Thursday 21st September 2017.
To secure your place, contact Alexis Smith at Alexis.firstname.lastname@example.org or 01256 306471.
We've had a busy year at BCoT and can't wait to welcome our new students in a few weeks time.
Keep up to date with all of our events, activities, news snippets and good news in our latest newsletter.
Basingstoke College of Technology will be open from 10.30am - 12.30pm on Saturday 18 November for a college Open Day.
During the day, you will be able to view the facilities, meet our industry-trained tutors and talk to current students about what life is really like at BCoT. There will be lots of interactive activities taking place across the College giving you the chance to see some of the things our students do on their courses. We will also have employers on hand to chat about the careers that learners can progress to once they finish their studies, and our Apprenticeships team will be available to answer all your questions.