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Raising the roof in construction training

Dave Wilkins The Bedford College Group

Setting the standards for training in the modern construction industry is now a key role for one of The Bedford College Group’s Directors, David Wilkins.

Director of Construction & Building Services Dave, has stepped up from Vice Chair to Chair of the British Association of Construction Heads (BACH). The body represents 80 colleges nationwide which offer training for the construction industry. It liaises closely with employers and with Government agencies to determine how to meet the changing demands of the industry.

Dave Wilkins The Bedford College Group

“It is a privilege to be in a position where here in Bedford we are central to guiding training in the construction industry,” said Dave,

“We link with the Department of Education, Ofqual and the Institute for Apprenticeships to help shape national policy and with OFSTED to ensure member colleges are at the forefront of excellent Learning, Teaching and Assessment. Most crucially we work closely with employers, CITB and Industry federations to ensure that the latest technology within the industry is embedded in the curriculum.

BACH benefits the whole of the UK of course, but closer to home it means our staff and students are in the front seat seeing fast-moving strategies come into force. Our students are right up to date with training and progressions opportunities and staff are kept up to date through Continuing Professional Development.”

Like most of the tutors in The Bedford College Group, Dave comes from a successful career in the industry where he now leads on training for. He started work as an apprentice carpenter scoring the highest in the country in the Institute of Carpenters Membership Award at the end of his apprenticeship. He worked as a site carpenter at a Bedfordshire firm before becoming a lecturer in 2002.

Now The Bedford College Group engages at the highest level with major construction companies. More recently it has been pioneering an employability project with global giants ISG.

Locally the Group has opened the Advanced Engineering and Construction Centre which uses the latest technology to help those starting on site to progress through HNC and HND courses to degree level qualifications.

Dave, added:

People may no longer have a job for life, but they have access to lifelong learning which means if they start ‘on the tools’ they can progress up the promotion ladder by keeping in touch with their local college.

Bedford College has top quality bricklayer apprentices – including two who reached the national finals of the Guild of Bricklayers Awards.

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