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Launch of Stephen Burke Construction Academy to promote emerging talent

Launch of Stephen Burke Construction Academy to promote emerging talent

05 July 2018

Burton and South Derbyshire College is supporting the future of the construction industry with the launch of the Stephen Burke Construction Academy, in partnership with expert developer and leading regeneration specialist St. Modwen.

The launch event on Tuesday 3rd July saw a range of top names in the construction industry gather at the College’s Construction Academy in Swadlincote, to celebrate the vital role colleges play in delivering technical skills. Guests including television broadcaster and skills champion, Steph McGovern, were given a guided tour of the Academy and had the opportunity to speak to students who are currently preparing for careers in the construction industry.

The 38,000 sq ft modern building, located on William Nadin Way in Swadlincote, South Derbyshire, is home to a specialist facility for all construction courses at the College. The campus delivers state of the art facilities, with realistic and practical open plan training that mirrors the environment of a real life workplace. It is equipped with modern workshops that provide students with access to the latest, high specification equipment for construction activities such as carpentry and joinery, plumbing, electrical and brickwork.

The campus has been renamed after the late Stephen Burke, who was Construction Director for St. Modwen. Stephen was an ambassador for the construction industry and was passionate about the important role that skills play in ensuring the sector is sustainable, both now and in the future. The renaming of the campus ensures that the College builds upon Stephen’s legacy and signifies the ethos of the College’s employer partnership with St. Modwen.

The launch of the new campus name is just part of the exciting collaboration between Burton and South Derbyshire College and St. Modwen, which includes work experience opportunities, live briefs and a Student of the Year scheme, where the winner receives a guaranteed interview for a sought-after apprenticeship position within the company.

Simon Clarke, non-executive director for St. Modwen, whose father Sir Stanley Clarke founded the company in 1966, paid tribute to Stephen’s support for young people in the construction industry during a speech at the launch. He said: “I knew Steve for 30 years as a colleague and friend. He was committed to inspiring and encouraging young people to be the best they could be. His favourite saying when encouraging others, particularly young people, was ‘Dream Believe and Achieve’. Steve truly believed that whatever you want to be, try and be the best you can be. I think Steve would be very pleased to have this wonderful education facility named after him. It is a very fitting tribute to a fine and remarkable man.”

Dawn Ward CBE, Chief Executive and Principal of Burton and South Derbyshire College added: “We are delighted to be renaming our Construction Academy after the late Stephen Burke, who was passionate about nurturing new talent in the construction industry. Burton and South Derbyshire College has got a rich heritage of working with employers to ensure our learners gain the skills that are in high demand by industry. Working in partnership with companies like St. Modwen is critical to ensure we are equipped to deliver the technical skills, knowledge and experience that employers are looking for, in line with the national skills strategy.”

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