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Gloucestershire Business News

UK’s first industry-led construction school opens its doors

AccXel construction school in Cinderford will today (December 9) welcome VIP guests to celebrate its launch, as it pioneers a new way in construction education.

AccXel was co-funded by the UK Government, GFirst LEP and family-owned Gloucestershire construction business, K W Bell Group.

The school was established to tackle the severe skills shortage in the construction industry, by recruiting new talent to the sector, helping the existing workforce progress to the next phase of their career and connecting the education and industry sectors to accelerate new skills.

Nicola Bird, AccXel's founder and managing director, said: "We are so pleased to be finally opening the doors to AccXel. Over the past year, we have garnered a huge amount of support from within the construction industry, which has highlighted how desperately an education facility like AccXel is needed.

"We are so excited that our school has completed its construction phase and we can finally put our plans to support the future of the construction workforce into fruition."

Prior to opening, AccXel secured partnerships with industry giants JCB and Leica Geosystems, which supplied the centre with the highest spec technology for recruits to hone their practical skills, before they start working on construction sites.

It has also secured partnerships with an array of local and national construction companies to facilitate new employment for apprentices and career changers as they enter the industry.

Partner businesses collectively have an annual turnover in excess of £2bn and have all pledged to provide employment for 80 of AccXel's construction apprentices in the first year. AccXel's highly reputable partners include Barnwood Construction, Bloor Homes, Coslin Construction, Walters and Keyway.

Natalie Bell, AccXel's business and partnerships director, said: "The support for AccXel has been overwhelming and we are so thankful for it. Whilst we are taking time to enjoy this momentous occasion, we are still looking towards the future. 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 continued: "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 its succession, growth and future ambitions."

AccXel officially opens its doors to learners on January 6 2022. For open events, news and applications visit the website

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