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£1.2 million civil engineering training centre officially opens

The opening of the Quinn Estates built EKC Group apprenticeship centre in Hersden, Kent on 4 November 2022. Photo by Matt Bristow.

New state-of-the-art education facility to address national skills gap and support economic growth

The EKC Group Civil Engineering Training Centre has officially opened at an event attended by local councillors and stakeholders. Located on the southern side of the A28 off Island Road in Hersden, EKC Group’s new facility is focused on construction and civil engineering. It was built in response to the national skills gap to ensure there are the right skills locally to deliver economic growth.

A report by the Construction Skills Network in June 2022 found that more than a quarter of a million extra construction workers will be needed by 2026 to meet projected demands in the UK civil engineering sector, so this centre, a first of its kind, is a hugely positive and innovative step in addressing this.

It will cater for around 300 students at any one time, studying courses ranging from construction certifications to full civil engineering apprenticeships. The 3,000 sq. ft facility includes a series of outdoor ‘stations’ where students can develop skills including drainage and bricklaying. Inside is a training centre, office and other facilities.

The ground-breaking centre has been funded in its entirety by leading South East mixed-use developer, Quinn Estates and gifted to EKC Group. With a S.106 obligation to spend £400,000, the final build costs ultimately reached £1.2 million with Quinn Estates covering the excess costs highlighting their commitment to delivering what is set to be a considerable asset in supporting the next generation into employment.

The opening of the Quinn Estates built EKC Group apprenticeship centre in Hersden, Kent by Councillor Georgina Glover on 4 November 2022. Mark Quinn, Councillor Georgina Glover, Graham Razey EKC Group CEO. Photo by Matt Bristow.

The new centre is testament to this approach and is part of the Hoplands Park development, an ambitious village extension developed across 70 acres which includes a new 35-acre park. The new community includes 250 homes and community facilities in a village centre including a new children’s nursery.