WORK has started on a £400,000 North-East training centre re-development that will support the next generation of apprentices.
Builders are extending the Thermal Insulation Contractors' Association (Tica) base, in Darlington, to include extra classrooms and meeting rooms.
The work, carried out by Stockton-based Cedar Construction, is expected to be finished in August, with second phase improvements to deliver more teaching space and a mezzanine floor, completed by October.
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Bosses say the changes will increase Tica's number of apprentices and allow it to take on Scottish students, who will train in Darlington from August.
It will also allow the firm to introduce an advanced apprenticeship, which will be piloted in the autumn, as well as a number of new courses.
Tica is a trade association representing companies in the hot and cold thermal insulation industry, training more than 250 apprentices across England and Wales.
It is the only UK training provider to offer apprenticeship training in industrial thermal insulation.