An inspirational centre which is training the next generation of engineers has been given the VIP seal of approval .
West Nots College’s Engineering Innovation Centre, which is training up to 600 students in the sector, was officially opened by global engineering icon Professor Lord Bhattacharyya.
Lord Bhattacharyya, founder of the Warwick Manufacturing Group, met with students studying on the range of programmes from entry to university-level – including full-time learners, apprentices and those studying higher education programmes – as well as local employers in the engineering sector.
He unveiled a commemorative plaque to officially open the state-of-the-art centre in Suttonand joined college principal Dame Asha Khemka, on a student-led tour of its facilities.
Students and guests also enjoyed a presentation by Jonathan Ellis of Up Science – a company that specialises in delivering science workshops and activities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and robotics.
The £5.8m centre provides students with some of the best vocational training facilities in the country including dedicated workshops for electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering, motor vehicle and fabrication and welding.
It has been created to produce highly-trained technicians in specialist fields while helping to plug skills gaps across a range of sectors including manufacturing, vehicle maintenance and advanced automation.
In addition to being trained in carbon and hybrid technologies, students have access to advanced design and manufacture machinery, along with high-spec motor vehicle diagnostic facilities.
Lord Bhattacharyya said: “It’s brilliant what the college has done and this example should be replicated all over the country. If we don’t start to plug the skills gaps, manufacturing will suffer. Britain was a hot-bed of engineering and manufacturing skills 20 to 30 years ago and we need to get back to this. This centre will play a vital role in once again making Britain a leader in technical education.”