A business partnership with a combined turnover of £2 billion has backed Gloucestershire’s new AccXel construction school – and has pledged to take on its first cohort of 80 apprentices.
The Forest of Dean education centre officially opened its doors on Thursday 9 December 2021, in front of some of those partners who have helped make the project a reality – including Gloucestershire College and the University of Gloucestershire.
The ambitious project was co-funded and led by Cinderford-headquartered firm KW Bell to ‘tackle the severe skills shortage plaguing the construction industry’, by helping firms recruit, train and educate.
GFirst LEP won £2 million of funding from the government’s Getting Building Fund for the project, and support has also come from 27 partner businesses including county-based Barnwood Construction, Clarkson Evans, Keyway, Bloor Homes and Coslin Construction, plus Walters, JCB and Leica Geosystems.
Natalie Bell, AccXel’s business and partnerships director, said: ‘The support for AccXel has been overwhelming.
‘We hope that our facility in Cinderford will be the first of many AccXel construction education facilities to be built around the UK.’
Nicola Bird, the managing director of AccXel, said: ‘We would like to thank all our wonderful trades who worked on the project for their commitment, passion and enthusiasm during the construction phase.
‘It is a privilege to work in the construction industry, and it makes me proud that we are having such an impact by supporting it’s succession, growth and future ambitions.’
The first cohort of trainees is expected through the doors of AccXel in January 2022.
By Andrew Merrell