Stafford College has launched a construction and design centre of excellence (CADCOE), which will offer courses to train a generation of digital design and BIM technicians.
The centre has been established via a collaboration between the college, Telford-based TDS Group, a specialist in architectural drawing and CAD, and Sheffield-based Tier BIM Consult, a specialist BIM consultancy that acts for clients.
The new training centre will aim to offer day-release training to 120 apprentices by 2017, and has received funding from the Engineering and Construction Industry Training Board.
Apprentices working for industry employers in the Midlands will attend classes in the college’s purpose-built facilities for CADCOE students including 30 computers with the latest AutoCAD, Tekla and Revit software.
CADCOE will use the expertise of the industry to guarantee course content and that training standards are relevant to the current sector requirements.
Contractor Laing O’Rourke is already signed up as a supporter of CADCOE as part of a long-term strategic partnership, with a view to increase numbers of staff trained in digital design.
Gary Foster, the principal for reinforcement engineering at Laing O’Rourke, spoke at the launch of CADCOE last week on how organisations can improve diversity and inclusion to support the sector’s growth.
In a press release, Ian Clinton, interim principal at Stafford College, added: “It’s exciting for us to be the only college in the country to have a partnership such as CADCOE.
“This is a fantastic example of education working directly with employers to support an industry and will benefit not just the region but the entire UK.”
Daniel Leech, managing director at TDS Midlands, said: “Thanks to our partnership with Stafford College and Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) we are able to provide CAD [Computer Aided Design] and draughting apprenticeship training free for employers across the UK in positive, vibrant, state-of-the-art facility while guaranteeing the highest quality of delivery.”