Accrington & Rossendale College opens new facilities

Accrington & Rossendale College’s new cleaning, cleansing & site supervision facilities are open for business and helping hundreds of people to improve their prospects of gaining employment each year.

In attendance at the official opening were Barbara Ellul – national portfolio advisor for City & Guilds, Joe Bell – business manager for City & Guilds, Kate Menzies – City & Guilds quality consultant for cleaning programmes and a host of community partners from organisations such as Bootstrap, Child Action North West, Calico and the Job Centre Plus along with facilities and built environment skills team.

The new classroom facility, situated at the Broad Oak Campus, Accrington, was specifically designed for cleaning courses and comes with working washroom and facilities to allow student to gain both theoretical as well as practical cleaning knowledge required to demonstrate best practice. The classroom is also made up of several different floor surfaces, which allow students to learn appropriate maintenance methods for a range of flooring.

College construction students are also in the process of building a 'graffiti wall' just outside the classroom for learners to practice graffiti removal using a range of methods including manual cleaning and the use of a pressure washer.

Programme area leader Raymond Felters said: “Many of the people who take this course have been out of work for over two years, so this is an opportunity to gain the skills and qualifications they need to find a job when they complete the programme. We also have progression routes for those who wish to extend their learning.

"This is why the practical facilities in the classroom are so important. They’ll learn best practice, health and safety, environmental awareness and skills and knowledge about the fundamentals of the industry. This year we’ll train approximately 200 students in this facility, so we’re really proud of the contribution we’re making in helping people back into employment.” College principal Sue Taylor added: “When we run a course we’re committed to putting the best package together we can. This means we hire the best tutors, with strong, industrial experience and we also create the best environment to learn in we can. We’re committed to employability and giving our students the best chance of getting a job when their studies have ended. Working alongside fantastic organisations such as Bootstrap, it allows us to really contribute to the strength of the community and the economy and this is a programme which we’re all very proud of.”