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Work under way on £8 million Oxfordshire Advanced Skills Centre

Work is under way on a £8 million new high-tech apprenticeship centre near Oxford which will provide 125 highly skilled technicians a year.

The Oxfordshire Advanced Skills (OAS) new training academy, at the Culham Science Centre, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, is being built by Midas Construction, part of the Midas Group, on behalf of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

The 4,000 sq m training facility will help tackle the skills shortages facing high technology and engineering companies in Oxfordshire by raising the quality and standard of local apprenticeships.

Midas was commissioned through the Southern Construction framework to carry out the project which is due to be completed in summer 2019.

Derek Quinn, Executive Director at Midas Construction, said: “Midas Construction is delighted to have been appointed to such a prestigious project with far-reaching positive benefits for key high-tech industries in the Oxford area. We look forward to working with the UK Atomic Energy Authority, and the OAS Phase 2 Training Provider to deliver a high-quality training facility which will provide an important resource for local employers and apprentices of the future.”

UKAEA’s Chief Operating Officer David Martin, who is Oxfordshire Advanced Skills’ project sponsor, said: “Starting the construction phase is hugely exciting for the project team as it marks the culmination of the efforts of many people. Built on the successful UKAEA and STFC apprenticeship schemes, the high quality, high-tech employer-led skills training that is unique in this area will supply a steady stream of much-needed technicians to the local and wider economy. We are on schedule for the opening in 2019 and look forward to working with Midas to get the new facility ready.”

The OAS Centre project continues Midas’ strong track record in the education, further and higher education sectors – including work commissioned through the Southern Construction Framework – with the Group having delivered over 40 education projects worth in excess of £200 million in the last three years alone.

Recent highlights include the completion earlier this year of the multi-award-winning National College for Nuclear (NCfN) Southern Hub, at Bridgwater & Taunton College’s Cannington Centre in Somerset; the regeneration of Weston-super-Mare’s historic Winter Gardens to create a new Law and Professional Services Academy for Weston College; and the start of work in April 2018 on a new Hi-Tech and Digital Centre at South Devon College, in Paignton.

Midas Construction was also appointed in November 2017 to the £8 billion Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Framework, which is set to drive major investment in schools and other education facilities over the next two years, providing the potential for further activity in the sector for Midas in the South West, South East and the Midlands.

Midas is one of the UK’s largest independent construction and property services providers. The company’s strategy is to become the contractor of choice in the areas in which it operates, by developing long-term relationships through the delivery of its vision to be   leaders in customer service and performance. It is a strategy which is already showing success with more than 75% of the Group’s projects being carried out on a repeat business basis.