£1.2 million Civil Engineering Training Centre officially opens

The EKC Group Civil Engineering Training Centre has officially opened at an event attended by local councillors and stakeholders. Located on the southern side of the A28 off Island Road in Hersden, EKC Group’s new facility is focused on construction and civil engineering. It was built in response to the national skills gap to ensure there are the right skills locally to deliver economic growth.

A report by the Construction Skills Network in June 2022 found that more than a quarter of a million extra construction workers will be needed by 2026 to meet projected demands in the UK civil engineering sector, so this centre, a first of its kind, is a hugely positive and innovative step in addressing this.

It will cater for around 300 students at any one time, studying courses ranging from construction certifications to full civil engineering apprenticeships. The 3,000 sq. ft facility includes a series of outdoor ‘stations’ where students can develop skills including drainage and bricklaying. Inside is a training centre, office and other facilities.

The ground-breaking centre has been funded in its entirety by leading South East mixed-use developer, Quinn Estates and gifted to EKC Group. With a S.106 obligation to spend £400,000, the final build costs ultimately reached £1.2 million with Quinn Estates covering the excess costs highlighting their commitment to delivering what is set to be a considerable asset in supporting the next generation into employment.

The new centre is testament to this approach and is part of the Hoplands Park development, an ambitious village extension developed across 70 acres which includes a new 35-acre park. The new community includes 250 homes and community facilities in a village centre including a new children’s nursery.

Mark Quinn, CEO and Chairman, Quinn Estates, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch this fantastic new facility for East Kent, providing hundreds of students each year with the transferable skills they will need to thrive in the construction and engineering industries.

“With all the developments we create, leaving a positive community legacy is at the heart of what we do and our development in Hersden is no exception.”

Graham Razey, Chief Executive Officer of EKC Group, said: “As a Group we are committed to addressing skills gaps and ensuring businesses have the talented employees they need to thrive, so we’re proud to launch this fantastic new training centre today. The centre will support employers in the civil engineering sector, enabling them to access the skilled staff they need to continue to flourish and grow.

“Today marks the culmination of a lot of hard work over a number of years, and we are very appreciative of what Quinn Estates has done in delivering our new centre. It is important to recognise the massive social impact that this will have, giving young people the opportunity to build great careers in a growing sector.”

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