A new £1m construction training centre in Bicester

Our state-of-the-art workshops and training bays are equipped with all the tools and materials you need to develop your skills.

Trade qualifications and part-time courses

Specialising in plumbing, gas engineering, carpentry, electrical installation and property maintenance, you can train for a new career, recertify a qualification, or gain some DIY skills.

Gas Training and Assessment (ACS) Centre

Our top of the range, brand new gas training and assessment centre contains all the facilities you need to gain the accreditation and certification you need to work as a domestic gas engineer.

From planning, to reality

The centre will house the type of industry-standard equipment that apprentices will find in the workplace, including a professional gas centre, electrical training bays for wiring regulation training and a large carpentry workshop.

A wide-ranging offer

Our brand new, first class facilities are complemented by highly experienced and inspirational tutors who are passionate about their area of expertise and wholeheartedly committed to supporting learners to achieve.

For employers: We work closely with employers of all sizes to ensure that the skills we are teaching are up to date and reflect those that are needed in your business. Whether you want to employ an apprentice or find a reliable and high quality training organisation to upskill or re-accredit existing staff members, then we can help.

For apprentices: If you want to develop a career in the construction sector, then our centre can help to connect you to some of the very best employers in Oxfordshire and beyond. Our award-winning apprenticeship team will support you throughout your apprenticeship and will help you to kick start a long-lasting career in your chosen industry.

For the community: Our centre also provides training for individuals who want to develop their own DIY skills, or who perhaps want to try something new before considering a change of career.

Staff Profile: Graham Hill

Staff Profile: Graham Hill

Graham joined the teaching community thirteen years ago having previously been a gas engineer for twelve years. He also managed teams of gas engineers as well as managing a gas training and assessment centre.

Since becoming a lecturer, he has mainly trained and assessed level 3 plumbers and gas engineers, as well as trained and/or assessed qualified gas engineers returning to renew their qualifications.

"I have been very lucky to have had the opportunity to help design the new gas training and assessment centre in Bicester. I am currently installing the equipment which will support the apprentices learning experience. I am looking forward to meeting the local employers and their apprentices who will join our new centre when it opens.

We are building some of the best facilities in the area which will support the students’ learning and provide them with the widest possible experience in the industry.

The apprentices will have access to some of the latest appliances and training material thanks to direct links with manufacturers such as Worcester Bosch."

Staff Profile: Robert Laslett

Staff Profile: Robert Laslett

Robert started his career as an apprentice wood worker at British Rail. After completing his indentured apprenticeship he was given a position in the production workshop, where he improved his machining and manufacturing skills, which also involved the programming of a CNC router. He also spent time in the joinery making doors, windows and railway joinery, and final maintenance department improving his site skills.

Robert left the railways and went into teaching so he could pass on the skills that he had learnt to a new generation of carpenters. Firstly, he worked for Manpower forum where he learnt how to assess NVQs and gained an assessor qualification and internal verifiers award. Robert then moved on to various educational establishments progressing his career and building up his skills and acquiring in-depth teaching skills by achieving a Cert Ed through Bedford University.

"I enjoy being able to pass skills and knowledge onto a new generation of carpenters, and the buzz I get when they complete work on their own to a high standard. I also like building relationships with the students and watching them grow in confidence both in their carpentry skills but also as young people ready for the workplace.

They can grow as a person, improving their confidence and social skills learning from other students, qualifying their understanding through activities and practical application within the classroom and workshops. This builds the camaraderie between students making for a positive learning experience."

Staff Profile: Mark French - Centre Manager

Staff Profile: Mark French - Centre Manager

Mark is a qualified engineer and plumber who spent a number of years working in industry before moving into Further Education nine years ago as a Technician/ Trainer. He taught a mix of full-time students and apprentices at level two and three. He moved on to become Apprenticeship Manager at Abingdon and Witney College, covering areas including construction and engineering.

After a period as Interim Head of Apprenticeships he is now responsible for leading the innovative new Construction Skills Centre in Bicester.

"The best thing about working at the college is working closely with apprentices and employers to help them achieve their goals, whatever their backgrounds and previous experience. As a former apprentice myself I remember that so much of the knowledge I gained at college was not relevant in the workplace, so making sure that we deliver high quality training that makes a difference in the workplace is really important to me. After working in FE for 9 years and watching apprentices be successful on their course and then following their progress as they move on to run their own business or gain promotions is very satisfying.

Particularly for apprentices who are working in SMEs, college provides the opportunity to talk to other apprentices in similar positions to get a broader understanding of how it feels to be an apprentice. College also gives the chance for apprentices to explore different ways of carrying out tasks - in construction there are always four or five ways of doing anything, so being able to discuss and debate different approaches is really important. For some students it can also be a really big jump into the workplace, and college provides a really important bridge between school or full-time college, and work, as well as giving students the opportunity to learn from lecturers who were all once working in trades themselves."


The course I'm studying feels like what a career would be like, challenging me and providing space for me to work in.

I remember turning up on the first day and I thought wow! The size of the construction building, the equipment we get to use – it's all helping me to reach my goal, which is to have my own workshop, making bespoke designs for customers.


I find that it never gets boring in the Skills Centre, learning joinery techniques and perfecting new skills - that's what I like most about the course, being in the amazing facilities.

The atmosphere is very relaxed here. You get freedom in the lessons and the fact that you're treated like an adult brings out the best in me. And because we are studying a specific subject that we’ve chosen, we aren’t doing anything that we don’t want to do!

I have a interest in woodwork and when I have completed the course, I would like to join the British Army Royal Engineers as a carpenter.


I had already heard about the great reputation of the College and the plumbing course. It’s a big campus and you can tell the Skills Centre we're learning in is new with modern tools and equipment.

The courses are very different to those at school. It’s much more hands-on and there's a lot more freedom. The tutors are easy to talk to and know their stuff.

This course is putting me on the right path to want I eventually want to do.

Your future career

Carpenter

Architectural Joiner

Gas & Boiler Engineer

Plumber

Electrician

Course Listings

Core Gas Safety (CCN1): Re-assessment plus appliances

Part Time XSBR100P

This course will provide you with the certification you need to continue to work as a domestic gas engineer. Candidates must already hold the CCN1 certification to take this course.The course is 5 days in total. 2 and a half days training, and 2 and ...

22nd Feb 2021 - 26th Feb 2021

Monday to Friday

Engineering

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Core Gas Safety (CCN1): Re-assessment plus appliances

Part Time XSBR103P

This course will provide you with the certification you need to continue to work as a domestic gas engineer. Candidates must already hold the CCN1 certification to take this course.The course is 5 days in total. 2 and a half days training, and 2 and ...

10th May 2021 - 14th May 2021

Monday to Friday

Engineering

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Core Gas Safety (CCN1): Re-assessment plus appliances

Part Time XSBR104P

This course will provide you with the certification you need to continue to work as a domestic gas engineer. Candidates must already hold the CCN1 certification to take this course.The course is 5 days in total. 2 and a half days training, and 2 and ...

7th Jun 2021 - 11th Jun 2021

Monday to Friday

Engineering

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Core Gas Safety (CCN1): Re-assessment plus appliances

Part Time XSBR105P

This course will provide you with the certification you need to continue to work as a domestic gas engineer. Candidates must already hold the CCN1 certification to take this course.The course is 5 days in total. 2 and a half days training, and 2 and ...

26th Jul 2021 - 30th Jul 2021

Monday to Friday

Engineering

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Core Gas Safety (CCN1): Re-assessment plus appliances

Part Time XSBR102P

This course will provide you with the certification you need to continue to work as a domestic gas engineer. Candidates must already hold the CCN1 certification to take this course.The course is 5 days in total. 2 and a half days training, and 2 and ...

12th Apr 2021 - 16th Apr 2021

Monday to Friday

Engineering

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Core Gas Safety (CCN1): Re-assessment plus appliances

Part Time XSBR101P

This course will provide you with the certification you need to continue to work as a domestic gas engineer. Candidates must already hold the CCN1 certification to take this course.The course is 5 days in total. 2 and a half days training, and 2 and ...

15th Mar 2021 - 19th Mar 2021

Monday to Friday

Engineering

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Level 2 Carpentry & Joinery: Pathway; Architectural Joiner

Apprenticeship XMBS350P

Carpentry and Joinery apprentices typically either work on a construction site as a Site Carpenter or in a workshop as an Architectural Joiner. Separate information about site carpentry is also available....

1st Aug 2020 - 31st Jul 2021

Various

Apprentices

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Level 2 Carpentry & Joinery: Pathway; Site Carpenter

Apprenticeship XMBS150P

Carpentry and Joinery apprentices typically either work on a construction site as a Site Carpenter or in a workshop as an Architectural Joiner. Separate information about architectural joinery is also available....

1st Aug 2020 - 31st Jul 2021

Various

Apprentices

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Level 2 Property Maintenance Operative

Apprenticeship XMBS300P

Carpentry and Joinery apprentices typically either work on a construction site as a Site Carpenter or in a workshop as an Architectural Joiner. Separate information about site carpentry is also available....

1st Aug 2020 - 31st Jul 2021

Various

Apprentices

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Level 3 Carpentry & Joinery: Pathway; Architectural Joiner

Apprenticeship XMBS200P

Property Maintenance Operatives optimise property condition and quality and ensure that buildings are kept in a safe working condition whilst providing a high level of satisfaction to customers....

1st Aug 2020 - 31st Jul 2021

Various

Apprentices

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Level 3 Carpentry & Joinery: Site Carpenter

Apprenticeship XMBS250P

Carpentry and Joinery apprentices typically either work on a construction site as a Site Carpenter or in a workshop as an Architectural Joiner. Separate information about architectural joinery is also available....

1st Aug 2020 - 31st Jul 2021

Various

Apprentices

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Level 3 Gas Engineering Operative

Apprenticeship XMBS050P

Gas engineering involves the safe installation, commission, decommission and the ongoing service and repair of gas appliances in either a domestic or non-domestic setting. Appliances can include central heating boilers, unvented hot water storage, co...

1st Aug 2020 - 31st Jul 2021

Various

Apprentices

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
Level 3 Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technician

Apprenticeship XMBS100P

Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technicians plan, select, install, service, commission and maintain all aspects of plumbing and heating systems....

1st Aug 2020 - 31st Jul 2021

Various

Apprentices

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

View course details
LPG Training and Assessment

Part Time XSBR112P

This course is designed to enable qualified gas engineers to add LPG gas to their existing natural gas qualifications. The course includes both practical and theory training in specific areas of LPG....

22nd Mar 2021 - 23rd Mar 2021

Mondays & Tuesdays

Engineering

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

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Unvented Hot Water: Initial

Part Time XSBR111P

This course will enable candidates to install, commission, repair and maintain domestic unvented hot water cylinders to comply with building regulations and standards....

7th Apr 2021 - 7th Apr 2021

Monday to Friday

Engineering

Bicester Construction Skills Centre

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