Our £4.75million Advanced Construction Engineering (ACE) Centre is equipped to train the next generation of construction professionals, including bricklayers, plumbers, electricians, decorators and carpenters.

A new extension was also formally opened in October 2022, giving bricklaying students extra room in which to hone their skills.

The state-of-the-art facility, which includes industry-standard workshop equipment, is now home to 400 students on full-time Construction Study Programmes, 200 Apprentices and 50 adult students.

The Centre aims to produce a pipeline of ‘work-ready’ staff for local employers, tackle the severe skills shortages threatening to hit the construction industry in Northamptonshire, and focus on developing the skills needed for the most up to date construction and engineering technologies.

Alongside courses which focus on craft skills there are also courses at Level 3 for those looking for supervisory, technician or management careers in the sector, such as in Civil Engineering, Building Services Engineering, or Project Management.

Courses are offered from Level 1 through to Level 3 and progression routes at Level 4 and 5 for technician, supervisory and management roles in Construction Engineering. Students also have the option to take a multi-skills programme, including Bricklaying, Plumbing, Carpentry, Decorating and Electrical, which allows students to experience a number of trades before deciding where to specialise.

Our industry partners

Industry based partners for the ACE Centre include Kier, Balfour Beatty, ENGIE, Bowmer & Kirkland, Metcalfe and the Murphy Group.

A spokesman for Kier said: “This project provides a key opportunity to help nurture and develop talent in the younger generation where we currently see a skills gap shortage. The significant benefits that it will provide are skills and training to enhance the future for the local construction industry, local individuals and to the local area.”

Paul Skitt, Skills Development Director for Flannery Plant Hire added: "It’s incredibly important that young people learn construction skills. The industry faces significant skills and employment challenges in the coming years and it’s essential that young people are given the opportunity to learn trade, technical and professional skills to support the future of the construction industry.’’