Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, will visit AccXel, the UK’s first co-funded, industry-led construction school, on Friday 12th May.
Her Royal Highness will tour the £3m school located in the Forest of Dean and meet the staff and apprentices as well as AccXel’s business partners and local dignitaries. She will also meet local school pupils aspiring to work in construction, observe construction and plant operations and experiment with AccXel’s state-of-the-art simulation technology.
Nicola Bird, the Founder and CEO of AccXel has said “We are honoured to be welcoming HRH The Princess Royal to our school and to showcase employer-led education, creating life-long careers, and inspiring the next generation of construction professionals.”
Since opening in January 2022, AccXel has created over 70 jobs for local people, and given over 150 people the opportunity to advance their careers in construction. They are due to create an annual 60 career starting opportunities through their apprenticeship programmes starting in September 2023.
Paul Worsfold, a 43 year-old from Cinderford, who started AccXel’s JCB Plant Operations apprenticeship in 2022 and has said “AccXel’s apprenticeship gave me the perfect opportunity to change career path, and as a bonus the facility is so close to home. All of the kit and technology available is fantastic and I don’t think there’s many other places in the country that offer anything quite like AccXel.”
AccXel has made a huge impact in the construction industry, having secured partnerships with industry giants and local and national construction companies, who have pledged to employ AccXel apprentices or to upskill their existing workforce at the facility. The pioneering employer-led, practical approach to education provides the industry with a scalable solution to the crippling skills crisis.
The Forest of Dean based AccXel mirrors the philosophy of the allied construction company K W Bell Group Ltd, in supporting the local community through AccXel sharing its facilities for community use.
Natalie King, Operations Director of AccXel, has said “One of AccXel’s objectives is to connect the industry to enforce real change. Improving diversity and inclusion is just one of the many ways we want to change construction. Through working in collaboration with our extensive partner network, we believe we can improve diversity and raise awareness of the opportunities for all.”
The construction school’s dedication towards improving diversity in construction will undoubtedly be of interest to the Princess Royal, who has been a long-standing patron of WISE, an organisation that helps girls and women pursue careers in STEM.
The Princess Royal’s momentous visit will be commemorated by the unveiling of a plaque at the school.