In the first phase of an ambitious plan to establish a ‘learning quarter’ in the town, ISG delivered a new facility, known as Dudley Evolve, on the site of a former fire station close to the College’s existing Broadway campus. The façade of the locally-listed fire station building was retained and incorporated into the new development, which provides training for the retail and leisure, public services and creative and performing arts industries.
Constructed on a sloping site, the part four-storey steel frame structure provides a Sport England-rated sports hall, fitness suite, a public performance auditorium and three dance studios, hairdressing and beauty salons and fine art studios, alongside numerous other resource-based learning and study areas.
ISG is committed to “Think Local Construction” and maximising employment and training opportunities for long-term unemployed people within the area. ISG targeted 24 apprentices for the duration of the project and put together an Employment, Work Experience and Training Strategy. One of Dudley College’s students was employed as a full time Trainee Estimator.
The candidate had a structured training and development programme including day release into higher education (sponsored by ISG) and one-to-one mentoring. Other initiatives in the plan included workplace visits for students to highlight the different careers offered in construction, specialist lectures given by ISG and its supply chain and classroom activities either to support a particular aspect of the course curriculum, develop key skills or to raise awareness of construction as a career.