Princess Anne visits Forest of Dean construction school
By Sarah Wood
HRH, The Princess Royal, visited AccXel, the UK's first co-funded, industry-led construction school last week (May 12).
The Princess Royal was welcomed by AccXel's directors, Nicola Bird and Natalie King, who were joined by Mark Harper, MP for the Forest of Dean, and David Owen, CEO of GFirst LEP.
Nicola Bird, founder and CEO of AccXel, said: "It is a huge honour to welcome The Princess Royal to AccXel. We were thrilled to have the privilege to showcase our industry-led approach to education, and how it creates career starting and advancement opportunities, benefiting all ages in the local community."
The Princess Royal was given a guided tour of the £3m facility in the Forest of Dean, before joining AccXel's bricklaying, groundworks and JCB plant operations apprentices and teaching staff for their practical sessions.
Andy Moule, AccXel's head of education, said: "I have worked in construction education for the last 20 years, but no training facility offers anything like AccXel. Our programmes deliver far beyond the national curriculum, to ensure that our learners are ready for every aspect of their chosen career in construction."
The Princess Royal was later introduced to AccXel's recent graduates and their employers, as well as some local school pupils from SGS Forest High School in Cinderford.
Natalie King, operations director of AccXel, said: "AccXel does a phenomenal amount of work with schools in the local area. Through our collaborative work, we hope to showcase the variety of career opportunities available in the sector, both on and off the tools, promote diversity and opportunities for all, and inspire a new generation of construction professionals."
The Princess Royal's visit was commemorated by unveiling a plaque at the school.
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