THE new £11m Dudley College campus will equip students with the skills they need to be "part of the changing face of construction".
Due to open in autumn 2017, Dudley Advance II will be the first of its kind in the further education sector, offering training in the latest construction techniques, technology and off-site fabrication.
The centre for advanced building technologies will be built on a car park alongside the Dudley Advance campus on Priory Road after getting the go-ahead from Dudley planners.
It will be kitted out with high-tech equipment, computers and software and have a four-storey high ‘hangar’, where students will be taught the practical know-how required for fabricating and assembling buildings.
There will be a variety of classrooms, a learning resource centre, recreational and study spaces and a digital centre, where Building Information Modelling (BIM) and digital environment software packages will be demonstrated and taught.
Other facilities include a 'carbon friendly technology centre' where students will learn to install air source heat pumps and photo-voltaic technologies and a ‘construction manufacturing and fabrication centre’ where they will develop their building engineering skills.
Supported by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal, the college is working in partnership with leading employers, including Laing O’Rourke, who are embracing new technologies – ensuring that students learn the skills that their future workforce is looking for.
Lowell Williams, college principal, said: “This latest investment in the Dudley Learning Quarter is a clear sign of our commitment to meeting the future skills needs of the construction industry.
"By partnering with employers, we will be developing individuals and apprentices with the latest knowledge and leading the way in training for advanced building technologies.”
Dudley North MP Ian Austin said he was "really excited" about the college's latest plans, adding: “This will be the most up-to-date centre for advanced building technologies in the country.
“This is exactly what I mean when I say we need to make education and skills our number one priority.
"Lowell’s team haven’t just transformed the town centre with a fantastic new campus and brought thousands of students to Dudley, but are strengthening our economy because the only way we’ll attract new investment and new jobs to replace the ones we’ve lost is by having the skills new industries need.”