Stoke-on-Trent College has officially opened new engineering and manufacturing facilities worth more than £600,000 at its Burselm campus.
The investment, from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP’s ‘City Deal’, is set to benefit 420 full-time students including 13 Bentley Motors apprentices.
The new amenities include:
- a specialist vehicle painting workshop for body repair and painting techniques
- a body jig and motor vehicle rigs to teach contemporary skills in accident and maintenance repair
- a welding robot and lathes for practicing high-precision welding
- a specialist Christiani Training System with a laboratory, solar suitcase and energy bikes to provide real world simulations, demonstrations and experiments of solar thermal and heat pump technologies
Paul Johnson, the college’s assistant director of engineering and motor vehicles, said: “We are extremely pleased and proud of our new facilities and we are thrilled to be able to offer this level of training to our students and apprentices,” he said.
“I am also very glad for Bentley’s involvement and the fact they are prepared to send their apprentices to us for their qualifications.
“These facilities are extremely important to help us form a skilled workforce in the area. As technology in these industries advances, there becomes an imperative need for new skills to be developed.
“Having this new equipment is a huge boost to the local economy. It shows that steps are being made to ensure Stoke on Trent experiences strong growth moving forward.”
Bentley’s senior development officer, Cheryl Guyler, visited the college on Tuesday and said: “I think these facilities are absolutely fantastic.
“Equipment like this will be so valuable to build and develop the technical skills of the next generation of our workforce.
“And it is through facilities like this, along with our master trainers, that keeps Bentley at the top of the class and provides the perfect environment for us to pass on our specialist knowledge.”
Are you a manufacturing company with a young, bright star? Come along to The Manufacturing Talent Challenge to learn more about what your peers are doing to plug the skills gap and how they are making the most of their apprentices.