Led by Director of Construction David Wilkins, The Bedford College Group now has six expert Head of Departments covering all specialisms of this massive field of employment.
The staff have the very latest expertise in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and decades of real life work experience in the industry.
Full-time students aged 16 and upwards, apprentices, and those updating their skills or progressing toward Higher Education in the construction industry, will find themselves being guided by the very best at what has been voted the UK’s Best FE College.
Said David Wilkins, who sits on a range of expert panels who determine what skills the construction industry needs nationwide says: “The Bedford College Group is now the go-to establishment for training and education to support the construction industry. We work with national companies and local traders who are currently all facing huge demands for appropriately trained staff.”
Currently underway is the Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) Centre at the Cauldwell Street campus in Bedford which is a showcase for the latest techniques used in the industry.
Head of Construction (Technical and Modern): Teddy Kye-Nyarko
Teddy enlisted in the British Army as an electrical and mechanical draughtsman from November. 2012 – August 2016. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Construction Management from Kingston University London. Teddy joined Bedford College as a lecturer in 2016 and was promoted to course manager the following year.
“We offer courses in Construction and Civil Engineering from Level 3 to Level 5. This also includes apprenticeships and T-Level qualification in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction.
“Our aim is to offer Construction and Civil engineering learning experience for our students.”
The department uses specialist tensile and compressive testing equipment and offers an HND in Construction and Built Environment.
Head of Electrical Installation: Javid Ahmed
“My background has been varied but my specialism and education has been mainly around computing and networking. I moved into mobile telecommunications and worked abroad for several years. I only got into electrics when I returned home and undertook some DIY tasks around the house and ended up electrocuting myself, I guess you can say that sparked my interest in becoming an electrician and I’ve never looked back!
“I then spent a number of years in further and higher education training to be an electrical engineer and a number of years working in the trade before moving into teaching.
“I’m sure all Heads of Departments would say the same but I am lucky to be working with such a fantastic department made of exceptional individuals. The department is diverse, supportive, reliable, proficient and accomplished. The department has over the years built up good working relationship with both internal and external parties.
“We have 10 staff including myself, two course managers, three additional lecturers, two technicians, a Personal Achievement Tutor and an administrator, we are a varied group who collaborate well and teamwork is at the heart of that collaboration.
“The department caters for approx. 300 students and apprentices and we hope to expand our commercial provisions next year.”
Head of Construction Trades Tresham College: Neil Dellar
Neil has been in further education construction for 21 years and has specialisms in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
As well as working with apprentices, Neil is a supporter of Northamptonshire’s legendary Rothwell Corinthians football team.
The skills covered by Neil’s department, and team of 11 based at Corby and Wellingborough, include Plastering, Carpentry, Bricklaying, and Painting & Decorating. All of them hugely in demand across the UK and to which Tresham College is committed to training young people with the skills they need for the working environment.
Neil worked on the Kings Cross regeneration project, the largest of its kind in Europe. Working with residents and offering work placements and apprenticeships.
Head of Plumbing & Gas: Mark Hamlyn
Mark has been working in education for 16 years and prior to that was a plumbing & heating engineer and in sales for same in UK and Holland.
The specialist unit on the Woburn Road Industrial zone at Kempston, is charged with training students to be ready to start and complete plumbing apprenticeships, and progress to Level 3 where they will can register as Gas Safe Engineers.
The mission for Mark and his team is to train the next generation of UK Plumbing & Gas Safe Engineers. They hope to increase the number of students – currently 90 full-time, 150+ apprentices and 50 on shorter professional certificate courses.
The department has excellent equipment which is regularly updated and provides a “true working environment” preparing students for examinations and the real industry.
Head of Construction Bedford College Cauldwell Street: Dean Gibson
Dean comes from a background in painting and decorating, fitness management, teaching and now further education management.
He has travelled widely and worked as a tradesman in Australia for four years. He attended Canterbury Christ Church University.
The construction trade department is made up of over 250 students with 18 staff in carpentry, painting and decorating and brick work. It delivers full-time diploma Level 1 and Level 2 courses, adult evening classes and has apprenticeship provision. Now, due to high demand, it will be running City and Guild T-Level courses.
The students that attend courses are mainly those who have left school and want to pursue a career in the construction industry as well as those progressing to the next level.
Students will study their vocational course and have the chance to improve their English and maths alongside to gain a vital qualification needed to progress to higher level courses.
All the diploma groups are trade-specific and cover a wide range of knowledge (exam and practical assessment-based programme) to give students the skills and expertise to gain a trade qualification (Level 1-2 diploma) that is recognised in the industry and is an avenue to an apprenticeship or full-time employment as professional tradesman.
Soon to be added is on-site construction T-Level, painting and decorating, brickwork and carpentry T-levels.
Head of Building Services Northamptonshire campuses: Alex Hughes
Alex has a background in the Plumbing, Heating and Gas industry as an installer and contracts manager.
His team provide courses from Level 1 to Level 4 in Plumbing, Electrical installations and Building Services to school leavers, apprentices and adults across Wellingborough and Corby campuses.
Alex and the team of seven lecturers and business support staff, aim to continue the development of qualifications to enable students to contribute to the future of the construction sector. The staff have a wealth of experience in their fields which covers domestic and commercial construction sectors.
With the opening of the new Wellingborough campus last September, the department now serves more than 200 16 – 19-year-olds, adults and work-based learners. This will continue to grow.