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14th March 2016

During National Apprenticeship Week, staff, students and invited guests welcomed Nick Boles MP, Minister for Skills, to officially open the new York College Construction & Skills Centre.

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Located on the College’s Sim Balk Lane campus, York College was supported by grant funding through the Skills Funding Agency to build the new £6 million Construction & Skills Centre.

The new Centre has been operational since the start of the academic year and accommodates full time students and apprentices studying brickwork, joinery, plastering and engineering courses. Its impressive facilities include two large workshops, classrooms, IT suite, Electronics Laboratory and changing facilities.

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During his visit the Minister got his hands dirty, laying bricks and cutting timber during a tour of the brickwork and joinery workshops in the new Construction & Skills Centre where he enjoyed meeting apprentices and finding out about their educational and employment experiences.

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After a welcome speech by Shirley Collier, York College Chair of Governors, the Minister gave a speech and unveiled a slate plaque to officially open the College’s Construction & Skills Centre.

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Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “Brickwork, joinery and engineering apprenticeships, like the ones we’re celebrating at York College today are helping young people to build experience in the workplace and get a top class qualification. Apprenticeships open doors for young people around the country. That’s why I am committed to 3 million more apprenticeships by 2020.”

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Shirley Collier, Chair of Governors at York College was delighted to welcome the Minister to the College and give him a tour of the new Centre, she said: “There is a high level of investment in construction training in York and the College’s new purpose-built Construction & Skills Centre provides a first-class learning environment for our students. The new Centre also has an important role to play in meeting the needs of the growing construction sector, at a time when there is a real shortage of skills in the area.”

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On leaving the College the Minister went to York Minster where he met with York College stonemasonry apprentice Sam Turner who won the Bronze medal for Architectural Stonemasonry at the World Skills competition in Brazil last summer.

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