rehau newsLooking to a greener future, East Berkshire College and polymer solutions company REHAU Limited have joined forces to provide a specialist training facility for students to learn about the latest renewable energy technologies in the construction industry.

Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough, officially opened the new East Berkshire College and REHAU Renewable Energy Training Centre at the College's Langley Campus on Wednesday (22nd September 2010).

During her visit, Fiona was given a guided tour of the facility and watched students demonstrate how to install underfloor heating systems. The students themselves were involved in fitting out the new training centre along with College lecturers and experts from REHAU.

The new facility is an exciting first for both the College and REHAU. The centre will be used to train over 300 students each year, who are taking various construction courses including Heating & Ventilation, the part-time Renewable Technologies & Sustainability course and the Construction Foundation Degree.

Meanwhile, REHAU will use the facility as part of its own training Academy and will offer a range of seminars and Academy courses at the College, which is very close to REHAU's southern regional sales office in Langley.

Richard Kirkham, Head of School for Construction at the College, explains: "This exciting new facility will position the College and our students at the forefront of industry. The centre will further enhance the learning experience for current and future students, allowing them to develop their skills on the very latest technology and increase awareness of green opportunities in new builds.

"We are proud to be working with such a renowned company as REHAU on this important project. We believe this partnership will benefit not only our students, but employers and their customers, as well as the industry as a whole."

To tie in with the project, the College has also collaborated with London South Bank University to introduce a new module on renewable energy technologies for the current Construction Foundation Degree.

Commenting on the new centre, Fiona Mactaggart said: "This is a great innovation; it's good for a locally based company which can show how its products work and make sure they are well installed. It's good for students who can learn the skills involved in installing state-of-the-art systems, it's good for the planet as more customers use these environmentally friendly systems to heat homes and offices and it's good for our local college to offer learning on the most modern systems in advance of industry standards."

rehau newsThe new training centre features a comprehensive range of products from REHAU focused on generating, distributing and managing energy efficiently. It includes working demonstrations of REHAU's solar panel technology and rainwater harvesting system and practical areas where students can learn how to install underfloor heating systems and flexible pipework.

Among those attending the prestigious launch were Kate Webb, Principal of East Berkshire College and Martin Hitchin, CEO of REHAU.

East Berkshire College has opportunities available for people to train in renewable energy technologies on either a part-time or full-time basis, with courses starting in October and November. For more information on these and a variety of other construction courses call 0845 373 2500.

Published in Construction
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 12:39

National champions

dewalt newsA team of talented apprentices from East Berkshire College have won the DeWALT Apprentice Challenge 2011. Beating colleges from across the UK, the four carpentry and joinery students put their skills to the test in a series of tasks, which included building a pitched roof, to win £5,000 worth of power tools for the College's Construction Department.

Published in Construction
Friday, 11 February 2011 00:00

Big breakfast for business

bb news_01_350pxAs part of National Apprenticeship Week (7th-11th February 2011), East Berkshire College held a special big breakfast event for local businesses on Thursday (10th February) at its Langley Campus.

Attended by over 40 visitors, the 'Big Breakfast for Business' event provided local organisations with the chance to find out more about the College's new apprenticeship programmes and the benefits of taking on an apprentice. A wide range of companies from across the region attended the event including Mars, Royal Berkshire Ramada Plaza, Clean, Mitie and Babcocks Ltd.

The event included a number of short presentations by key speakers such as Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough, as well as a discussion forum and tour of the College's extensive facilities.

During her visit, Fiona met a class of apprentices in the College's Construction Department to talk with them about their experiences. She was even given a lesson in bricklaying and shown the art of carpentry and joinery by students.

"Companies which employ apprentices find that they can build a loyal skilled workforce which contributes to their business success," explains Fiona. "And the apprentices I spoke to enjoy this very practical form of on the job training. Improving skills is essential if we are to compete and apprenticeships are the most important way of doing that. Full Marks to East Berkshire College for promoting these excellent apprenticeship programmes."

In addition to the breakfast event, the College also invited a number of key figures from local councils and industry to become an apprentice. Martin Mahoney, 14-19 Consultant for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, was one individual who took up the challenge.

As an apprentice, Martin joined a class of students in the College's hair and beauty training salons to try his hand at doing woven highlights (known as foiling).

"A number of my colleagues did laugh when I told them I was going to be a hairdressing apprentice for an afternoon. It has, however, given me a much better insight into apprenticeships. Part of my work involves strengthening links between schools and colleges, so I felt it was important to understand how and what apprentices learn.

"I was particularly interested in talking to students about how and why they came to choose this vocational career path. It was great to see how dedicated and enthusiastic they are about what they do."

Meanwhile Jo Wright, Head of Local Business at Kinnarps and President of Slough Chamber of Commerce, took up the offer of becoming a motor vehicle apprentice: "I believe it is very important to grow the skills of our young people in the area, so I was keen to support National Apprenticeship Week. Going back to College for first-hand experience was a great way to do that."

bb news_02_350pxHenry Clarke (19, from Wokingham), who is now in the final year of his motor vehicle apprenticeship at the College, believes an apprenticeship makes you more employable.

"Apprenticeships help you get experience while learning," says Henry. "It is hard at first because you start on a low wage, but it pays off in the long term as companies want skilled staff. I want to work my way up to manager level and this is the first step."

East Berkshire College trains hundreds of apprentices every year, in various subjects from engineering to hairdressing, and even helps businesses recruit apprentices.

As well as the more traditional trade-based apprenticeships, the College now offers a range of new apprenticeships in areas such as IT, Business Administration, Accounting, Customer Service and Public Services.

Local businesses interested in taking on an apprentice, please contact East Berkshire College on 01753 443855.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 700 courses including apprenticeships call 0845 373 2500.

Published in Construction
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