New Technical Academy Officially Opened

East Durham College has officially opened its new Technical Academy, a world class training centre designed to prepare learners for a rewarding career in the construction trades.

The Rt. Hon. John Denham MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, declared the Academy open following a tour of the 30,000 sq. ft. facility in Peterlee, County Durham yesterday.

East Durham College has developed the Technical Academy to offer a realistic training environment and industry-standard facilities including vast workshop areas, state-of-the-art classrooms and an IT suite.

The Academy aims to provide a centre of excellence preparing learners for a rewarding career in trades such as gas and electrical installation and maintenance, plastering and wall and floor tiling. It is developing training in renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar power installation.

The Rt. Hon. John Denham MP said: "The Technical Academy is a great facility and I am delighted that East Durham College is making such a commitment to equipping their learners with the skills needed to compete for the jobs of the future.

“Now more than ever, it is important to continue investing in career specialisation expertise, so people have the skills to help them succeed at every level of their career and businesses can grow with a professional and knowledgeable workforce.

“This will be particularly important for the East Durham area and the North East region to improve skills and support and grow business as the Government reduces opportunities for learners.”

The Technical Academy offers a range of qualifications up to Level 3 to ensure the next generation of construction trade workers receives practical and relevant training.  It also provides essential up-skilling opportunities for those already working in the sector as well as vocational courses for those about to leave school.

East Durham College has partnered with a number of regional and national businesses within the construction sector to ensure the Academy provides the best construction training across the North East region. These include national house builder Frank Haslam Milan, Kier Group, Howdens Joinery and local employers such as East Durham Homes and Harbro Electrical.

Many of the industry partners are offering on-site work placements for the Academy’s learners as well as regular product and technique demonstrations.

East Durham College Principal Stuart Wesselby said: “I am so proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time setting up this fantastic facility which provides a highly professional training environment creating real world scenarios for our learners.

“We have raised the bar for construction skills and provided a facility that makes us the focal point in the North East for people wanting to train or re-train as plumbers, plasterers, electricians, tilers or gas engineers.

“Our aim is to turn out confident, professional and knowledgeable learners in line with what employers want, providing the right people with the right skills and qualifications to meet the industry’s ever growing demands. This is what the industry expects and we are happy to deliver it.”

The Technical Academy is located on the South West Industrial Estate in Peterlee, not far from East Durham College’s main campus. For more details please visit www.thetechnicalacademy.co.uk or call 0191 518 5577.