JTL welcomed local businesses and prospective apprentices to attend the official opening of its new training centre in Colchester on Thursday 20 June.

Located just outside the centre of Colchester, this new training hub, which is the 14th location in JTL’s growing network across England and Wales, will deliver electrical apprenticeship training to help meet the demand for critical skills in the local area. The latest industry data* has highlighted an electrical skills shortage in the East of England, and these high-quality new facilities will provide apprentices with the first-class tutoring and equipment required to progress their careers in the sector.

The centre is already providing job opportunities for the local area, including the creation of a new centre tutor role and three training staff, as well as supporting the employment of 50 apprentices in the region; this is expected to double over the next three to five years.

The site at Phoenix Court, which was previously a call centre, was refurbished over a 12-week period with work carried out by Colchester-based contractors and suppliers, further feeding into the local economy.

JTL’s Chairman, Sir John Low, was on hand to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony, alongside JTL’s Chief Executive, Chris Claydon. Local business representatives, school groups and youth services also attended the event to explore the training hub’s facilities, meet current JTL apprentices, and try their hand at activities, including an interactive circuit builder.

The Level 3 Electrotechnical Apprenticeship, which will be offered at the centre, provides learners with future-proofed skills to install, maintain and repair electrical systems, including a spectrum of sustainable and energy-efficient technologies, which reflect the skills needed for the UK’s transition to net zero. It is one of six ‘gold standard’ apprenticeships that were awarded the Coronation Emblem in 2023 because it contributes to a low carbon economy and helps to build a workforce that is equipped with the skills needed for a green future.

Chris Claydon, Chief Executive at JTL, said: “The opening of our Colchester centre is the result of a significant investment and will create a highly skilled talent pipeline that is vital to our local and national economy.

“This is an exciting time for apprentices to join the building services engineering sector as JTL steps up to the challenge of delivering greater green skills, whilst employers taking on an apprentice are helping to shape the future of our industry.

“As one of the fastest growing areas in the country, Colchester and the wider Essex region is a key location for us to expand in. The new centre will allow for a wide range of partnership opportunities for JTL to work with prospective apprentices and local businesses to contribute towards the closing of the existing skills gap in the East of England.”

JTL has ambitious plans to expand its network of training centres and deliver the highest quality apprenticeships, tailoring the learning experience to local, regional and national skills needs.