Two new multi-million Sheffield College buildings offering education and training in growth sectors to boost young people’s employment prospects have opened this term.
The first young people to train in the £15.6 million creative industries and engineering facilities have started classes following a handover by Clugston Construction last month.
The College, which has a £321 million economic impact on the city every year, is investing in provision linked to sectors identified for regional economic growth. Click here to find out more about our November open evenings.
Jason Pepper, Executive Director, Finance and Resources, The Sheffield College, said:“Welcoming our first students to our two new landmark buildings is a fantastic milestone for us to reach after seeing the new facilities take shape during the last two years on the Sheffield skyline. Growing the economy is one of the major challenges facing employers and education providers. We are responding by launching new curriculum and facilities that will boost students' career prospects, fill regional skills gaps and support economic growth."
Nick Todd, Business Manager, Clugston Construction, said: “The successful completion of these two high quality projects for The Sheffield College is something Clugston are very proud of. We feel sure their state of the art facilities and eye-catching architecture will help the College deliver outstanding training to the young people of Sheffield for years to come. Building these schemes, which had tight programmes and even tighter space to work in, would not have been possible without the support of the College and the students. Clugston and our supply chain thank them for their cooperation.”
The £6.8 million Centre for Technology, Engineering and Design at The Sheffield College Olive Grove campus, Olive Grove Road, comprises a teaching block with the latest cutting edge technical classrooms, and workshops and solar panels on the roof.
The four-storey new building, which adds more than 2,600 square metres of new space, is annexed to the existing campus and marked by a striking steel sail design and a contemporary atrium which contains a partially glazed flexible pod, to provide a communal break-out area for students.
Around £450,000 of new equipment for electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, motor vehicle, plumbing, heating and ventilation, and sustainable construction has been installed which has enabled the scheme to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’.
The £8.8 million Centre for Creative Industries at The Sheffield College Hillsborough campus, Livesey Street, houses a new theatre, as well as drama, dance, television, photography, music and radio studios and £450,000 of new equipment.
The three-storey building’s technical specification was enhanced by using a Drama by Design consultant for the new theatre, which includes a platform for stage lighting, and a steel framed and wire strung ceiling. Other specialist features include a recording studio, which achieves a 75 decibel noise reduction, and a double height dance studio with a sprung timber floor.
High on the College’s agenda was the need to produce a facility that would be efficient to run and use low carbon technologies. Photovoltaic arrays, natural light and ventilation were incorporated into the design to achieve this. The dramatic curved shaped building now extends the existing Hillsborough campus. Drone footage of the site under construction can be viewed by clicking here.
Student Madison Hay, 16, who is completing an Apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering at Olive Grove campus, said: “My ambition is to develop my skills and move on in the company where I am training as an apprentice. The new facilities are great for my training and learning.”
Student Tiarnan Meely-Clark, 16, who is studying on the Creative Media Television and Digital Production course at Hillsborough campus, added: “I want a career in the film industry or performing arts. I chose to study here because of the new facilities and equipment. They really set it apart from the other places that I looked at.”
The upgrade to the College’s accommodation reflects a longer term plan to ensure all students train in the latest high quality facilities to boost their skills. Creative industries specialisms including graphic design, media, journalism and photography, previously located at the former Norton campus, which closed in the summer, have moved across to Hillsborough campus.
Both new build projects have received a total of £10 million capital funding from the Skills Funding Agency - money specifically ring-fenced for building projects - approved in October 2013. The facilities have been built by Clugston Construction and designed by Race Cottam Architects.
This term, the College launched The Sheffield College Guarantee, which applies to all new students, aged 16 to 18, starting full-time courses, lasting more than six months, this academic year. On successful completion of their course, the College is guaranteeing that students will have an apprenticeship or a job offer or an offer of a place on a higher education course at the College or university, or a progression route to one of them.
The College – which is Ofsted graded ‘Good’ – provides academic, vocational and professional qualifications to 20,000 young people and adults a year, and has a £321 million economic impact on the city annually. Qualifications include apprenticeships, vocational diplomas, A Levels, access courses and foundation degrees.