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New construction centre builds opportunities for students

September 28 2021

Newark College held a breakfast event to thank industry supporters as the new Construction Centre of Excellence welcomed its first plumbing students.

The College is collaborating with local employers to develop a work-ready workforce for the plumbing and wider construction sector. 

Regional businesses, many of whom attended the event, are enriching the learning experience for students through the donation of industry standard equipment, by contributing to the bespoke study programmes on offer and through apprenticeship opportunities. 

The aim is to provide learners with the skills and behaviours to succeed within the growing industry. 

Laura Needham, Head of Training at Vaillant, came along to the event where she met the students and gifted them with merchandise. She said: “Through our relationship with Newark College we can support learners in the region, so they have a greater understanding of the technologies available to them in the future and the expectations of employers in this industry. 

“The students will be visiting our site in Belper where they will experience products from build to install. We will demonstrate and train with our products including boilers, heat pumps and controls, the latest technology on the market, giving them a clearer picture of how the products they will be installing are manufactured and maintained.” 

Senior Project Manager for Hoval Robert Hollingworth also attended. He began his training at Newark College exactly 50 years ago when it was known as Newark Technical College. He said: “I started my career here all those years ago and it’s great to be back and to see the development of the new construction centre.  

“My tips for the new students are simple: If they are diligent, polite, smart, work hard, with a keen interest in the job they’re doing they’ll go far.” 

Student Cheryl Buttony is enjoying the plumbing course so far. Her long-term goal is to be self-employed, and it is her dream to have a small team to manage one day. She commented: “It’s been really good to meet the businesses here today. The course is interesting, the facilities are great, and my tutor makes learning fun. The other students are eager to get stuck in like me too.” 

Penny Taylor, the Lead for Education and Training at Newark College said: “As we welcome our first plumbing students to the new Construction Centre of Excellence, we’re delighted to thank our sponsors and supporters for their ongoing efforts in making the facility a success.  

“The input of local employers is a crucial part of our mission to train skilled employees that meet the demand for roles in the construction sector. Some of the businesses here today have provided equipment, so our learners have access to the best tools available. While others are enriching our curriculum through excursions, guest speakers and work experience opportunities.  

“Our breakfast event has given many of them the opportunity to look around the facility for the first time, to see first-hand how their vision and input has materialised.” 

The Construction Centre of Excellence also supports local businesses and self-employed engineers by providing short courses, apprenticeships, programmes for career re-training and gas assessment training.  

It officially opened in June 2021, after disused buildings at the College were renovated thanks to capital investment from the Newark Town’s Fund Board, as well as significant match-funding by the Lincoln College Group. 

If you are an employer looking to work with Newark College, please contact Penny Taylor at

If you are interested in studying at Newark College and would like to know more about the range of construction courses available, please click here


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