AccXel was founded by Nicola Bird, third generation of a £80m construction company based in Gloucestershire. 

It was through discussions of succession planning, that it became worryingly apparent that the skills and people are not available to support future growth plans for the business, or even maintain the current market share over the next 5- 10 years. 

With a background in construction training and safety management, Nicola carried out business case studies over 4 years in development, creating a bespoke apprenticeship model which better suited the industry. 

Over that period Nicola conducted many seminars and talks to industry to discover and grow what she had already discovered. 

In October 2020, Nicola & K W Bell Group were awarded £1.96m by HM Government and GFirst LEP via the ‘Getting Building Fund’ to build and create AccXel, the UK’s first co-funded Construction Skills Accelerator Centre. 

AccXel is not just a training school, it is an ideology based upon experience, data, strong values and the aspiration of future proofing the industry.

Family business is where it started and how it grows. Nicola shares this new venture with her father Pete, mother Yvonne, and sister Natalie. 

Nicola Bird
Founder and Managing Director
A spirational
Inspiring aspiration in individuals to excel and achieve their own goals.
C onstruction
Welcoming growth within every sector of construction.
C ollaborative
Collaborating to form meaningful relationships with aligned values.
e X cellence
Striving for excellence is celebrated and promoted.
E ducation
Providing an adaptive, agile and inclusive learning space for all.
L ife-long learning
Supporting continual development for self-growth, confidence and self-appreciation.

AccXel is the Construction Skills Accelerator Centre based in Gloucestershire and is the first co-funded, industry led construction education facility in the UK. Co-funded by HM Government, GFirst LEP and K W Bell Group. AccXel will offer Training Programmes, professional education and bespoke training to develop the next generation of construction professionals and upskill the current workforce.

The state-of-the-art, £3m education centre has been established to address the severe skills shortage, compounded by the surge in nationwide construction.

AccXel will change the face of construction education through encouraging pupils, school leavers, career changers and career starters into construction, as well as upskilling those already in the industry.

In collaboration with education partners, qualifications at AccXel will range from NVQ L2 through to Postgraduate Degree and will provide education and training ranging from entry-level training programmes, through to management-level strategic business and personal development.

As the first co-funded, industry led education facility, and the first private company to receive public funds through the post-COVID ‘Get Building’ fund, AccXel is receiving National acclaim.

In November 2020, AccXel received a visit from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, and then a visit from George Bamford of JCB to confirm their endorsement.

AccXel was cited by Forest of Dean MP, Mark Harper in the House of Commons in March 2021 and is being used as the exemplar in a White Paper to be put forward to Parliament for reformation to address our skills shortages. With National press, sponsors and Parliament expectantly watching the establishment and evolution of AccXel, we are very excited to be at the forefront of change in construction - when it is most needed.

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