Management consultant Harry Hammersley has been charged with finding the cash for a £8 million construction training centre in Coventry.
Mr Hammersley, from Bubbenhall, near Coventry, has been recruited by Coventry University Enterprises (CUE) and the Learning and Skills Council Coventry and Warwickshire to build ACTUK, the National Centre for Advanced Construction Technologies.
The flagship will be in Coventry University's Technology Park, and "will form an integral part of a construction community, designed to change the face of the industry not only in the West Midlands but also nationally".
ACT-UK aims to raise the level of skills, enhance and accelerate training and build on partnerships between employers and higher and further education so that construction training is tailored exactly to employers' needs.
It comes during a growth period in construction, with demand for constructionrelated skills in the West Midlands outstripping supply.
Mr Hammersley has lived in Coventry and Warwickshire for the past 30 years.
He started out as a civil engineer and has worked on major transport and building projects across the UK. For the past nine years he has been a self-employed project management consultant and has conducted a wide range of schemes for schools, army barracks, stations and roads.
Local projects include improvements to the M40/A46 island in Warwickshire and Toll Bar Island in Coventry.
He said: "It is not an opportunity that comes along very often and so is very challenging and exciting."
The team includes industry leaders such as Clive Benfield, managing director of KB Benfield, George Marsh, chairman of Midlands-based construction group Chase Norton Construction, Lance Saunders of the Chartered Institute of Building and led by Ursula Russell, chairman of LSC Coventry and Warwickshire.
Mr Hammersley said: "They have done much of the groundwork, which has helped me to get into my stride.
"The centre will offer innovative, top-quality training, with a very broad range of courses on offer to students from Coventry and Warwickshire, across the UK and Europe. The centre will also promote a life-long learning approach with training and induction courses from school level right through to advanced management training for experienced construction personnel.
"ACT-UK will add a new dimension to the way we train and prepare our workforce in building and construction, which currently tends to be a mix of conventional courses, on-the-job training and company initiatives.
"We will enhance these training approaches by using virtual reality simulation of construction projects to expose students and trainees to hands-on, real-life management situations, to deal with the challenges and risks that are part of any building project, in safety and with confidence."
Detailed plans for the site are to be revealed in September and funding for the multi-million pound, futuristic training centre should be in place by January 2006.
Building is due to start in summer 2006 and doors open in 2007. It will be funded, in the main, by Government cash and contributions from the industry. Mr Hammersley added: " Reflecting the project's ethos of partnership within construction, our primary funders expect us to look for contributions and support from the industry."
The project, commissioned by bosses at the LSC Coventry and Warwickshire, is a collaboration between industry, Advantage West Midlands, local construction, further education colleges, private training organisations, the Chartered Institute of Building, Construction Skills, and Coventry and Warwick universities.