West Suffolk College’s Milburn Innovation Park is currently offering local construction companies the opportunity to use their ‘live site’ at no cost during lockdown; as a safe environment to help train employees or as a tool to try out new methods of working.
The college has taken the decision to support local businesses by offering the Campus as a safe training environment. Throughout college term time, the site replicates a live building environment and is already proving popular as a training facility with external companies such as Anglian Water Alliances who currently run their Level 2 Construction Programme, with the aim to get their apprentices ‘site ready’.
The Milburn Innovation Park was developed to help bridge the gap in education between the classroom/ workshop and working on a live construction site. The project, in collaboration with Morgan Sindall and New Anglia Building Growth Group, gives students an invaluable, first-hand insight to experience what life is like on a real construction site – preparing them for industry. On completion, the site will include 10 training pods, each representing different elements of a construction site, and has already received huge support locally through pod sponsorship, donation of materials and equipment, training, support and guidance.
Mark Ames, Head of Construction at West Suffolk College comments: “Pre-COVID, we had received so much support locally from construction companies and felt it was important to try and return that support in any small way during these unprecedented times. Due to the vast open space, the park lends itself perfectly for external employee training whilst adhering to social distancing restrictions. We have also found companies are trying out new scopes of work before implementing them on real jobs and the feedback from businesses who have used the site so far has been nothing but positive.”