Bradford now boasts its own £1.5 million construction training complex.

Carlton Bolling College opened its own design and construction centre of excellence yesterday during a ceremony attended by regeneration bosses, industry experts and councillors.

The centre aims to recruit and train the next generation of building industry professionals and aid the rebirth of the city.

Executive head teacher, Nigel Jepson, said the complex, which has 30 pupils training for a B-TEC diploma in construction, had been built in response to demand throughout the district.

He said: "The project has got off to a flying start with tremendous back-up from other secondary schools in both Bradford and Leeds. The signs are immensely promising that young people following these courses will be able to translate their skills effectively on to the job market in relation to the construction industry as a whole."

All funding for the centre, built on a land formerly taken up by a derelict tennis court, was provided by regeneration body Yorkshire Forward. The complex includes practical workshops, classrooms and a dedicated ICT room.

Pupils across the district are being invited to study for the diploma, which is equivalent to four GCSEs and can be studied alongside other GCSE subjects including maths, English and science.

Pupils at Bingley Grammar, Rhodesway, Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College and Bradford Cathedral Community College are studying at the centre.

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) played a key role in getting the centre off the ground.

She said: "This is a place where young people can aspire to study and work in the construction industry in all its forms.

"It will be a place where architects, site managers, electricians and bricklayers all come to learn.

"It's time that Bradford took charge and took advantage of the massive construction which will be ongoing in the city centre. I want to see young men and women from Bradford re-building the city."

Councillor Mohammed Jamil, (Con, Bowling and Barkerend) said: "I would like to congratulate Carlton Bolling College for its dedication, commitment and hard work in working to improve the community. The design and construction centre will benefit students throughout the district and equip the community with skills which are lacking."

Andrew Wallhead, Yorkshire Forward's head of strategy for West Yorkshire, said: "Bradford is a city on the up. New buildings are being developed practically daily and the degree of construction investment coming into the city means it is vital that we support the development of people with the right skills to help the city grow - literally.

"The Carlton Bolling College Design and Construction Centre of Excellence will help the city achieve this and I wish the centre the greatest success."

Carlton Bolling is set to gain specialist status in maths and computing.


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