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Major professional skills centre launched to provide construction skills boost

Renowned for working closely with industry to generate real business benefits, SERC has recently opened a brand new Professional Skills Centre located on the Dundrod Road, Nutts Corner, aimed at providing building professionals with the skills they need to succeed in industry. The Centre will provide a variety of compliance training and assessment packages that can be tailored to suit individual requirements.  

Located just 30 minutes from Belfast, the Professional Skills Centre is a dedicated training facility specialising in areas such as gas, electrical, fire and security, health and safety, plumbing and engineering.   The Professional Skills Centre was launched in front of an audience including local business representatives, sponsors and partners who got a guided tour of the facility.   

SERC Lead Business Manager, Paul Henry, said “The opening of the Professional Skills Centre is part of the Colleges commitment to provide industry with the latest training and is a landmark development for SERC, reinforcing our strong commitment to promoting and developing skills in the region.

“The skills honed here will provide a huge boost to both the local community and economy, whilst also helping to drive the construction industry forward. The Centre will ensure that the local workforce and economy has access to the highest standards of training.  

“Special thanks must go to CITB and our sponsors and partners who donated a range of equipment to fitout the workshops who, without their support the Centre wouldn’t have been possible, including Warm Flow, Baxi, S4S Group, The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Atlas, Beggs and Partners, WMK Electrical, H & J Partners, OFTEC, Robert Hamill Consulting, Ideal Boilers and Danfoss Controls.”  

It is hoped the Professional Skills Centre will become a first port of call for business. All the training incorporates the most up-to-date technology, which together with experienced and qualified staff, enables learners to undertake practical hands-on experience in state of the art, purpose built workshops.  

Ken Webb, Principal and Chief Executive of SERC, said: “I am delighted with the new Professional Skills Centre and would like to thank the contractors, sponsors and staff who have completed this project to such a high standard. It reinforces our reputation as a dedicated training venue for local businesses, pioneering skills development in Northern Ireland and beyond.  

“With the lack of a skilled workforce a barrier to economic growth in Northern Ireland - the scale of the challenge to upskill and accredit the construction workforce cannot be under-estimated. Raising skills delivers many positive returns including improving staff moral and retention, attracting the best people to an organisation and boosting productivity and performance – which both job creation and growth depend.”  

SERC Commercial Contracts Manager Elaine Flynn said: “Having trained, knowledgeable staff with relevant qualifications is extremely important in meeting the regulatory requirements in the industry and when tendering for work. SERC has built up a strong reputation in providing bespoke training packages to help meet the requirements of a wide range of sectors.  

“The new facility will allow us to ensure that our curriculum reflects the current needs of industry and prepares businesses for the developments and environmental challenges which face us all. SERC is committed to working with employers to ensure they have the skilled workforce they need, both now and for the future. The Centre is primed to deliver accredited training and will be at the coalface, helping to upskill and accredit installers and engineers working in the industry.  

“I would encourage businesses both small and large to explore how they can benefit from the assistance and expertise of SERC.”  

The Professional Skills Centre is also home to SERCs brand new innovative welding apprenticeship which aims to tackle the chronic shortage of skilled welders. Run in partnership with Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council and a consortium of Lisburn based employers it aims to address the challenges faced by employers in accessing skilled welders.

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