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The opening of Weston's Engineering Centre

Facilities special: Weston College opens engineering centre

Weston College's £2.5m engineering centre has officially been opened at a ceremony attended by local and national businesses

Posted by Stephanie Broad | November 09, 2015 | Events

The College has invested £1.5 million in machinery and equipment and £1 million in building works and is now able to provide a full engineering and manufacturing curriculum, offering qualifications in a wide range of engineering skills including mechanical engineering, fabrication and welding, aeronautics, manufacturing, digital technologies and maintenance.

Many of the new facilities were demonstrated by students and apprentices during guided tours that took place after the opening ceremony.

The development will play a key part in the College’s vision to create a £4.2 million ‘Future Technology Centre’ at its South West Skills Campus, which will enable it to respond to national skills requirements and provide a technology-ready workforce for the future.

The opening ceremony was attended by representatives from GKN Areospace and Ipeco Composites Limited (both of which have apprentices currently undergoing training at the College) as well as major companies including Serco and SKF Clevedon.

Colin Skellett OBE, Chief Executive of Wessex Water and Chairman of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, unveiled a plaque in the foyer of the engineering centre.

Mr Skellett said that the new engineering centre would play a vital role in creating a skilled workforce in the region, and praised Dr Paul Phillips’ ‘visionary’ approach. “A lot of our work at the LEP involves the development of a skilled workforce and Dr Phillips has been a major contributor to the work we are doing in skills,” he said.

“The biggest challenge we have got is developing a skilled workforce to ensure continued economic growth, and that is why this new engineering centre is so important.”

Dr Paul Phillips, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College said: “The opening of our engineering facilities is part of a wider vision on the part of the Weston College Group, which is shared by the West of England LEP and by North Somerset Council, in terms of bringing about major change through skills.”

The new engineering provision at Weston College’s South West Skills Campus includes fully equipped machining workshops, materials labs, hydraulics and pneumatics labs, PLC and control systems labs, electronics workshop, CAD suites, composites workshops, 3D printing facilities and maintenance and fabrication workshops.    

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