Driving forward Bristol’s skills

Main image: Metro Mayor joins City of Bristol College student Tyler Hamilton on a tour of South Bristol Skills Academy. Picture courtesy of WECA.

New Metro Mayor Dan Norris has outlined his plans to drive forward and expand opportunities on a visit to South Bristol Skills Academy in Hengrove.

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Mayor, along with Bristol South MP Karin Smyth, joined students learning how to service cars and vans in the Academy’s vehicle maintenance facilities.

The college is hoping to introduce training for young people to also be able to maintain and support the new electric vehicles of the future – as the public increasingly moves away from combustion-engined cars.

City of Bristol College has recently received £6million investment from WECA, so it can expand to deliver more courses for young people in bricklaying, carpentry and construction.

Mayor Norris got a sneak preview of the new Advanced Construction Skills Centre which is being built. The state-of-the-art facility is due to open this autumn.

He said: “Skilling up local people so they can be the engine for our region’s recovery is vital. It was a pleasure to meet our future mechanics and people who will be working in car maintenance.

“You never want a break-down but it’s clear these students are getting the practical know-how to get you back on the road.

“I was also delighted to hear about future plans so we will have local people with the skills we need to build the homes and infrastructure we desperately need in Bristol and other local cities, towns and villages.”

Deputy Principal and Chief Executive of City of Bristol College, Richard Harris, added: “The Advanced Construction Skills Centre will provide skills training so that learners from across Bristol can make the most of new employment opportunities, offering modern facilities where people can train in all areas of construction in order to develop the skilled workforce that employers will need.”