BASILDON’S apprentices and learners now have the finest access to unique courses at a new £10million college.

Prospects College Basildon, in Crompton Close, has opened its doors to the Echo two weeks before the grand opening on Wednesday, December 5 to show what it can offer young people in the county.

Courses including Heating and ventilation, the only of its kind in Essex, plumbing, electrical installation and refrigeration and air conditioning are available to budding apprentices and adult who want to retrain after it opened in September.

The new facility has a state-of-the-art 35 seater auditorium with a 92-inch television where the young people can attend lectures and seminars, smartboards in the nine classrooms for a number of workshops, a new open study zone and a Learning Resource Centre.

Joe Pojunas, Training Manager for Building Services and Engineering, said the college has seen 300 apprentices employed and has 200 students studying two-and-a-half days a week in plumbing, electrical, refrigeration and air conditioning.

“Everyone really likes the new facilities and equipment and it is a real selling point. It is full of people who want to be here and who want to learn and that is wonderful. Our learners are staying with us and progressing into apprentices. We have more space to expand in the building but will do that once we find a good enough use. If you cant learn in this facility you can’t learn anywhere.”

The building has been designed so natural light will reflect onto the ground floor through the windows meaning there will be little artificial lighting.

Graham Lewis, Director of business development at the college, said: “The new Group Training Association, Building Services Engineering opened its doors to new and existing students in September. Since then we have held a number of meetings with stakeholders and partner employers and training providers providing us with the opportunity to show off the modern, industry led skills training areas on offer. The response we have had has been very positive, we really have delivered an excellent skills training environment, to support this fast growing and economically vital sector that young people and employers across Essex can access.”

The college had been unused for ten years after its rose from an old food processing plant.