New eco-friendly Technical Academy set for Swinton

Swinton Market Cross at sunset.
Swinton Market Cross at sunset.
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An innovative Technical Academy that will equip unemployed young people with sustainable building skills is to open in the Scottish Borders.

Lancashire entrepreneur Steve Richmond is behind the venture which launches in Swinton on Friday, with assistance from Business Gateway.

The project aims to train up to 150 people in the first year and runs in conjunction with a 100% carbon neutral construction project soon to begin in the region.

Templegate Training, a highly respected training solutions company, will support the Academy.

Dave Stanley of Templegate Training said: “This is our first project in Scotland and we’re really looking forward to providing young people in the community with sustainable skills and the opportunity for longer term employment.

“We’ll begin with 12 students who will help build eco-lodgings in their training. This means future students will be able to stay in the lodgings during the week as they train, which will allow for a wider catchment area.”

The free four week course will offer training in SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) production and construction. SIP is a 100% carbon neutral technology that provides a stronger structure and better insulation than traditional construction.

After four weeks of training the students will be employed by a partner building company to continue work on low carbon construction projects in the area. Dave said:“This a practical training programme that allows young people to earn as they learn after the initial four week training programme. We will continue to provide valuable training on site beyond the initial training period.

“We’ll target young people all over Scotland, though to begin with we have been working with Business Gateway to identify students locally. Our courses are aimed at young people between 18 and 25.”

Sandra Campbell, Business Gateway, Scottish Borders said: “This is a really exciting project Business Gateway has been delighted to assist with. We worked closely with Templegate to identify networking opportunities.

“We also sign-posted guidance and support from Economic Development at Scottish Borders Council and advised on which local areas would be best suited for the project.

“This is going to be a fantastic boost to the Scottish Borders community and we are looking forward to continuing to work with everyone involved with the venture as it grows.”