A new £1m refurbished apprenticeship training centre, specialising in the construction industry, set to open in Bicester early next year.


Launched as part of Abingdon & Witney College’s apprenticeship programme, the state-of-the-art facility will provide exciting opportunities for apprentices to train for the fast-growing property maintenance sector, alongside professional skills in the plumbing, electrical installation, carpentry and joinery trades.

The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) secured £934,611 of funding for the project via the government’s Local Growth Fund.

Work on the Centre started at the beginning of July and is expected to completed by January 2021, with the first cohort of students due to start in February.

Available Apprenticeships

Architectural Joiners produce building components by setting out, marking out and manufacturing basic architectural products, including doors, windows, straight staircases and associated ironmongery. Architectural joiners are typically based in a workshop, rather than on site, and will liaise regularly with workshop colleagues and supervisors as well as architects, designers and customers.

They will work within a team, under supervision and will use machinery and or tools to create structures or components from designs, plans and specifications that meet the client’s expectations.

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Site carpenters work with building materials (most often wood) to create and install building components.

This typically involves shaping and cutting materials, installing finished materials like partitions, doors, staircases, window frames, mouldings, timber floor coverings and erecting structural components such as floor joists and roofs. Apprentices normally work on a building site or in homes or commercial premises. They will prepare and fix building components from construction of new buildings through to installation or fixtures and fittings, they might also carry out a wide range of repair and maintenance jobs.

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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.

They will understand the mechanism of buildings including electrical, plumbing, plant, safety systems and equipment. They will provide first and immediate response to fault finding, whilst maximising quality and ensuring cost effectiveness. They will ensure prevention of major damage that could result in extensive costs and minimise reactive intervention.

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Architectural Joiners produce building components by setting out, marking out and manufacturing basic architectural products, including doors, windows, straight staircases and associated ironmongery.

Architectural joiners are typically based in a workshop, rather than on site, and will liaise regularly with workshop colleagues and supervisors as well as architects, designers and customers. They will work within a team, under supervision and will use machinery and or tools to create structures or components from designs, plans and specifications that meet the client’s expectations.

Advanced Architectural Joiners have responsibility for managing their own and other people’s work, and carry out complex and non-standard work.

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Site carpenters work with building materials (most often wood) to create and install building components.

This typically involves shaping and cutting materials, installing finished materials like partitions, doors, staircases, window frames, mouldings, timber floor coverings and erecting structural components such as floor joists and roofs. Apprentices normally work on a building site or in homes or commercial premises. They will prepare and fix building components from construction of new buildings through to installation or fixtures and fittings, they might also carry out a wide range of repair and maintenance jobs.

Advanced Site Carpenters manage their own and other people’s work and completes complex and non-standard work such as curved products, irregular joints and bespoke work.

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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, cookers, space heaters, and meters. Roles in gas engineering will include explaining how installations and appliances work, providing energy efficiency advice and ensuring customer service excellence at all times. Gas engineering operates strictly within the requirements of health and safety legislation. All gas engineers must be registered on the Gas Safe Register for each appliance in which they are competent to undertake work on.

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Plumbing and Domestic Heating Technicians plan, select, install, service, commission and maintain all aspects of plumbing and heating systems. Plumbing and domestic heating technicians can find themselves working inside or outside a property.

Customer service skills and being tidy and respectful are important qualities as they can often find themselves working in customers’ homes as well as on building sites.

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Read the Prospectus

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.

Get in touch

Interested in taking a course at the Bicester Construction Skills Centre, hiring an apprentice, or just looking for more information? Simply fill out the form below, and one of our team will be in touch with you.

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