Work on the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTS) new Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) at the University’s SA1 Swansea Waterfront development is nearing completion ready for an October opening.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and a consortium led by UWTSD are working in partnership to deliver CWIC’s state-of-the-art facilities and training for individuals and construction companies, with CITB investing £6.5m. The centre will see a minimum of 1,100 students trained at the SA1 hub each year.
CWIC has already engaged with over 2,000 welsh construction industry professionals, operatives and related staff and has delivered a total of 633 training days since it began in 2016. CWIC activities provision has supported 350 welsh employers and has approved 260 activities to run throughout Wales.
The partnership includes Coleg Sir Gâr, Coleg Ceredigion, Coleg Cambria, Coleg y Cymoedd and Building Research Establishment (BRE).
Dr Jane Davidson, pro vice-chancellor for external engagement and sustainability, said, “Construction is one of the most important industries – and drivers of job opportunities – in the Swansea Bay City Region. With £1.3bn investment coming in to S W Wales, the partnership between UWTSD, with its pipeline of young people gaining skills in the built environment, and the Construction Wales Innovation Centre, will help to ensure that individuals and firms are given the best possible training in the best possible facilities to drive up further opportunities in the region and beyond.”
Director of CWIC, Gerald Naylor, added, “We are not only working quickly and responsively to meet the needs of the construction industry in Wales, but also working collaboratively with a number of industry partners on improving employer-education engagement. CWIC is also partnering with other stakeholders in promoting a positive image of the construction industry to potential new entrants.”
Partnership director for CITB Cymru Wales Mark Bodger commented, “Wales is leading the UK in construction growth, with our research indicating that over 12,000 new jobs will be created in the nation over the next five years. It’s vital we have the right training in place to create the workforce of the future. CITB funding has enabled key partners across Wales to come together and deliver the skills needed by construction firms and the Welsh economy.”
As well as delivering world-class training, the scaffolding management course at Coleg Cambria and the heritage plastering course at Coleg y Cymoedd are being taught in collaboration with CWIC for the first time in Wales.
Situated in phase one of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s new £350 million SA1 Swansea Waterfront development, the building is being constructed by Kier. It will cover 1,000 square metres of floor space, providing a ConstructZone, classrooms, dedicated IT suites and conference facilities. A dedicated scaffolding training facility will also be sited close by.
Professor Mike Fernando, dean on the faculty of architecture, computing and engineering said, “The faculty of architecture, computing and engineering (FACE) is proud to host the Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) at our new SA1 waterfront campus. We value our ongoing partnership with Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and believe this collaboration is key to providing innovative solutions to the construction industry’s skills needs.
“Over the last two years, CWIC and the school of architecture, built and natural environment within FACE have worked together on a number of industry relevant projects. This relationship has enhanced the skill sets of our graduates from the University and our industrial partner’s workforce. CWIC, working alongside its partners, aims to be at the forefront of the creative technology that drives and shapes the construction industry to adapt to future demands. From drones to 3D modelling, CWIC brings the latest innovations to Welsh construction industry hence driving construction excellence in Wales.”