Hopes rise for cash to fund new permanent site for ‘digger school’

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AFTER the success of its first apprenticeship schemes, an educational training centre for civil engineering has been awarded funds for a permanent site.

The Civil Engineering Training Centre (CETC) run by Fareham College have been chosen to receive an investment for the multi-million pound project by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

Principal and Chief Executive of Fareham College Nigel Duncan said: ‘We are thrilled to have been awarded a Solent Skills and Productivity Investment Fund capital grant by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

‘The grant will support the development of a much needed Civil Engineering Training Centre. Based on economic demand, this project is to establish a purpose-built Civil Engineering Training Centre that will meet the increasing and long-term needs of a sector of industry that has been largely forgotten in the national training landscape.’

As previously reported by The News, the current students at CETC, which is based at the Daedalus airfield, have nearly finished their 20 week course to achieve qualifications for a career in the civil engineering and groundworks industry.
Site manager Nelson Williams said: ‘This course gives them the right start in the construction industry and the basis of the skills needed.’

Last month Nelson explained there were long term plans for a permanent site for the training centre which runs an apprenticeship scheme in partnership with local firms that sponsor the trainees and provide them with support.

Nigel added: ‘Initiated and driven by a group of large, highly regarded and regionally active civil engineering companies based in the Solent, our vision is that by 2020 CETC will be the Centre of Excellence for skill-based occupations in Civil Engineering for the Solent and South Hampshire Areas.’

The final decision on the grant is to be confirmed in March.