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University College Birmingham creates new skills centre
The regeneration, delivered by University College Birmingham, will deliver future skills Birmingham needs and drive investment in the region whilst supporting the Jewellery Quarter’s unique heritage.
Via Madeleine for University College Birmingham
December 2021: The iconic James Cond print works in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, is set to be regenerated to create a sustainable construction skills centre at University College Birmingham (UCB) next year. The Engineering and Sustainable Construction Centre will offer state-of-the-art courses and facilities, specifically designed to train and upskill learners with skills that support employers and their supply chains.
The refurbishment of the historic art deco building, in the Jewellery Quarter’s Conservation Area, will honour the area’s heritage while also providing the city with future skills, employment, and training opportunities.
This regeneration project follows UCB’s refurbishment of Camden House, due for completion in Summer 2022, which will create a bespoke STEM education and training facility. Together, these projects mark UCB’s significant investment of more than £10 million into Birmingham, driving regeneration of the city and creating leading facilities that will support industry needs and create jobs to drive economic growth.
UCB plays a key role in the economic, social and cultural growth of Birmingham, and the refurbishment of the James Cond building will unlock new opportunities and potential for the Jewellery Quarter and wider region, by improving access to education and working with partners, locally and nationally to address key regional challenges.
Central to this commitment is supporting the next generation of learners and helping the long-term unemployed develop the skills and expertise to move into meaningful employment. As part of this, the new Centre will specialise in courses that support the region’s growth areas including sustainable construction methods, manufacturing technologies, renewable energy, robotics and cyber and digital skills.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
This is a fantastic investment by UCB that I cannot wait to see come to life.
Not only will it help regenerate and breathe new life into the former iconic James Cond print works, but it will also critically help train people in the skills that employers need, helping residents find good quality, long-term work as part of my 100,000 jobs plan.”
Michael Harkin, Vice Chancellor and Principal at University College Birmingham said:
The recent COP26 climate change conference included high emphasis on low carbon sustainable buildings with highly ecological specifications, and there is great need of new talent in this field, with hundreds of thousands of new workers expected to be required in the next few years.
Our exciting, new courses are centred around sustainable construction and design, plus developing advanced skills in engineering and construction, and are very different to those offered by other local providers.
It is an offering that we will continue to develop from Level 2 and T-levels through to degree courses and apprenticeships, working closely with local employers to fill skills gaps and offer training in priority areas for the West Midlands.
First and foremost, it is firmly about supporting young people and the long term unemployed to gain industry-relevant skills and support them into work, further study and to gain critical skills to access high-value jobs that meet local and regional needs.”
UCB has also formed a new partnership with the University of Warwick, providing a unique opportunity to design progression opportunities for students across the West Midlands to enter UCB on technical courses, and progress through to degree and masters level programmes at the University of Warwick. This partnership will also help widen access to education and training opportunities, creating clear pathways to employment for learners at all stages of their education.
Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor at the University of Warwick, said:
We are incredibly excited about this new partnership between the University of Warwick and University College Birmingham. Our institutions are jointly committed to unlocking talent potential within the West Midlands. This new Centre will elevate skills, training and employment opportunities for learners of all ages, while also acting as a catalyst for further innovation and growth in the region’s key sectors.
“This investment in state-of-the-art facilities and skills development will position the Centre and its courses at the forefront of not only skills delivery and growth nationally, and will also be an exemplar of the inclusive learning pathways that can be developed through close collaboration between higher and further education.”
Colin Hamilton, Strategic Account Director at Tilbury Douglas Construction, said:
Tilbury Douglas is delighted to be working in partnership with University College Birmingham on the development of the new sustainable construction courses.
As an employer, it is vital that our employees can access robust, fit for purpose qualifications that will address the skills shortage and provide our future and existing workforce with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to demonstrate competency in their roles.
We are passionate about recruiting and developing our own talent for the future while ensuring we remain committed to sustainably delivering vital infrastructure to communities across the UK. This collaboration will help us to achieve this.
The James Cond and Camden House projects are the next phase in a £130 million investment in UCB’s campuses and learning facilities, including the award-winning McIntyre House and Moss House, both opposite the printworks.