We are delighted to have received a substantial timber donation from CALA Homes to support students on wood trades courses at ACE.  The timber, equating to 1,500 metre lengths, arrived via a recent two and a quarter tonne delivery to our training centre where space is being adapted to meet the demands of an increasing number of apprentices looking to train with us.  The timber will mainly be used to build ‘pods’ in which students can showcase a range of skills from their courses such as fitting of skirting, architrave and worktop, as well as hanging a door.

Sonia King, our Training Co-ordinator, said: “Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen an increase in the level of apprentices coming to us for quality training. We currently have over 100 on our roster; an all-time high for ACE thanks to more employers making us their provider of choice when seeking trade training for their apprentices. As such, our workshops are bursting at the seams and we have been blasting through more bricks and timber than ever before.

“National Apprenticeship Week is a time to recognise and applaud apprenticeship success stories across the country and we’d like to thank CALA Homes for this fantastic gesture. It is support such as this from well-minded businesses that helps our young apprentices to prosper. Armed with an abundance of timber and an excellent new site in which they can practice every type of carpentry, no matter the weather, our students are well-equipped to hone their skills.”

Gavin Stewart, sales and marketing director at CALA Homes Chiltern, said: “As a business which aims to leave a lasting legacy within the communities where we build, we are only too happy to be able to support ACE Training. Not only does the college see itself very much as a community organisation, it is actively seeking to nurture young talent and bolster the long-term sustainability of skilled trades.”

CALA Homes is a major UK home builder with active developments across Oxfordshire in Benson, Haddenham, Wallingford and Wolvercote. CALA has recently launched its latest Oxfordshire development, Fullers Meadow in Wantage. Forming part of the Kingsgrove site, Fullers Meadow is a light and spacious collection of stylish one to five bedroom family homes, ideal for first-time buyers, families and downsizers alike

As a not-for-profit organisation, every pound ACE can save on running costs gets reinvested back into the training it provides. Donations of materials and equipment are always a welcome and meaningful contribution which directly support the future of young construction students within Oxfordshire and further afield.

One of the college’s major overheads is the materials it uses within its many workshops. Whilst there is every effort to reuse and recycle materials where possible, there is a continuous need for significant quantities of unspoiled timber and bricks.  We’d love to hear from other companies who might be in a position to help us in this way.

Thanks to CALA from everyone at ACE!  More photos can be seen on our Facebook page.

 

Christmas came early for us this week with a huge donation of timber from McCarthy & Ratcliffe Carpentry  working on the Bloor Homes site in Long Hanborough.  We are so grateful for their generosity and as well as being a great way to use excess materials from a site, it also saves us valuable money as we regularly purchase large quantities of timber for our training centre.

More photos on our Facebook page.

Thanks so much!

ACE would love to speak to any construction firms or suppliers who might want to help us with materials.  We are also a registered waste carrier.  For more information, check our website.

We had a really fun and informative session recently with Ian Sayers from Bicester First Aid Training. In a high risk industry such as construction, it’s so important that students understand how to respond to emergencies in the workplace and we thank Ian for equipping us with those skills, even through we really hope we never need to use them for real!

 

We were very fortunate recently to have Steven from the Aquarius service visit ACE recently and give a talk on substance misuse to students.

The Aquarius service offers support to those who use substances and also those who are affected by familial substance misuse. They also offer therapeutic support to children and young people aged from 11 to 19 years old who are affected by current familial substance misuse. For more information on the valuable work they do, please check out the link above.

Health and wellbeing of students is of utmost importance to us, and it is extremely important that our students know what services are available not just to them, but to colleagues and others in their lives. We are grateful to Steven for his time and expertise in what was a very useful and enjoyable session.

We were delighted last week to receive a donation of over 50 pairs of safety boots and shoes from the fabulous folks at Jacobs Douwe Egberts in Banbury. Every student starting at ACE needs a pair in order to train in our workshop and for many students, and this donation gives us a great number to have in stocks especially for students coming in on taster days.

As a not-for-profit organisation, every £ we can save on running costs, gets reinvested back into the training we provide, as well as student support, so by donating materials and equipment to ACE in this way, companies like JDE are directly supporting construction students. We salute them!

Welcome to all new and returning students on our full-time courses today. We are looking forward to seeing you. If you’ve not signed up yet, don’t panic, we run a flexible, roll-on/off programme so get in touch if you’d like to join Oxfordshire’s construction training company of choice #AceTeam

We’re looking forward to welcoming back new and returning students this week. Reminder to everyone that this is the case if you are unsure about days/times, please get in touch with us asap tomorrow (Monday 2nd September). We’re looking forward to seeing you all.

One of the brilliant benefits of taking on an apprentice as a CITB-registered employer, is the very generous grant scheme (check out the numbers here ££££) they operate, which is an important and unique incentive to help employers with the costs of taking on an apprentice.

The great news is that it is not just employers placing apprentices with CITB to train through their network of subcontracted colleges, who can access the grants.

CITB-registered employers working directly with independent training providers like ACE Training, can access exactly the same grant system with the same value of grants available to them.  There is an extra step in the process that requires the employer to make a manual application and claim through an grant application form, but ACE supports and helps employers all the way with that.

So the employer gets the same financial support, end-to-end assistance from our team, as well as the other benefits of working with a flexible training organisation delivering quality apprenticeship training. Not bad, eh?

For more on the apprenticeship grant scheme operated by the CITB, please see here.

To speak to one of the team on how you can work with ACE and claim the apprenticeship grants, please call on 01865 370040 or email [email protected]

 

When you’ve had six weeks of full-on construction training, there’s no better way to sign off than running around some woods with paintball guns, is there?!  We had a fantastic time last Friday to say thank you to the amazing students who’ve been with us during our Summer Programme.  They have been an exceptional group and it is great that a number have already sorted out apprenticeships and full-time courses and we’ll be seeing them very, very soon!  We still can’t believe they ate all that pizza though……

We are delighted to confirm our success in passing assessment by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and will remain on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP).

Our resubmission followed widespread criticism of last year’s RoATP application process which saw a number of organisations awarded training contracts despite having no track record of apprenticeship delivery.  Following a review, providers have been required to reapply to the register and meet more “stringent and challenging entry requirements”.

Our Managing Director Adam Marsh:

“We are delighted to receive confirmation that we continue to meet the criteria set out by the ESFA for the delivery of quality apprenticeship training. This is further validation of the high standards we set for our provision and we support the ESFA’s work in rigorously ensuring that only those providers delivering quality training, like ACE, will remain on the register”.

We currently have almost 100 construction trade apprentices, predominantly in Oxfordshire, and have seen our apprenticeship numbers grow steadily, with more firms in the industry making us their training provider of choice locally.  We start learners, including apprentices, at any point across the year and are holding an Open Doors week for prospective students and apprentices on the 19th-23rdAugust.  For more information on our courses and events, contact us on 01865 370040 or [email protected]