THE new £3.6 million Construction Skills Centre at Wiltshire College’s Trowbridge campus was officially unveiled on Wednesday (March 11) as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

Offering an increased range of plumbing, carpentry, electrical, gas, bricklaying and decorating courses, the purpose-built centre opened on the Trowbridge campus at the start of term.

The facility, also an accredited gas training centre, opened its doors to companies representing a variety of trades on Wednesday to coincide with World Plumbing Day – one of a number of events marking National Apprenticeship Week.

Wiltshire College acting principal Amanda Burnside was joined at the official launch by Trowbridge Mayor Glyn Bridges, Hugh Nokes, director of Renelec, contractor Rydon Construction, as well as the apprenticeship torch on its tour of the south of England.

Karen O’Connell, director of curriculum and campus at Trowbridge, said: “We have an excellent track record of training people for the construction industry through our full and part-time courses and our successful apprenticeship programmes.

“The new construction skills centre is enabling us to meet the increasing demand for skilled workers and the official opening allowed us to celebrate this and show its potential to local and regional employers.”

The arrival of the torch signalled the start of a plumbing competition on the day between the students of Wiltshire College’s Trowbridge and Salisbury campuses, Swindon College, Gloucestershire College, City of Bristol College and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

In an event supported by the National Apprenticeship Service, students showed their skills by plumbing a radiator against the clock in a series of timed competitions.

Devizes and Swindon-based Renelec assisted in judging the Trowbridge competition, while at the Salisbury campus, Energy-Tec Ltd and City Plumbing helped judge the plumbing students.

For any employers considering taking on apprentices, more information is available at