Advanced Technology Centre to Train Highly Skilled Engineers

Published: Friday 17 January 2014

Blackpool and The Fylde College has announced major investment plans to train the next generation of highly skilled workers in the advanced engineering and manufacturing sectors.

The development includes building a new Advanced Technology Centre at the Bispham Campus that will deliver the technical and leadership skills required by students to address the skills shortage in the advanced engineering and manufacturing industry, a key priority identified by the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Blackpool and The Fylde College Principal and Chief Executive, Bev Robinson, said:
“The development of the Lancashire Enterprise Zone will see demand for highly skilled workers in the aerospace, automotive, nuclear and energy sectors soar in the coming years. Our priority, as a leading provider of education and training, is to ensure our students develop the skills that industry need for the region’s economic prosperity.”
Students will learn using leading industry technology and resources and follow a curriculum driven by key employers, focusing on:
·        Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing (including aviation, automotive and electronics)
·        Low Carbon processes (including nuclear, renewables and environmental technologies)
·        Energy solutions (including Offshore/Onshore wind farm maintenance)
·        High level skills in Leadership and Management

An estimated 6,000 students from the age of 14 years through to adults will benefit from training and education every year, and the Centre will offer a variety of programmes, taster sessions, opportunities for progression to degree level and bespoke provision to meet the needs of employers.

Bev Robinson continued: “The College’s existing engineering and motor vehicle provision was judged as Outstanding by Ofsted in October. Our decision to invest in advanced manufacturing and engineering is a decision to further support the regional economy.

“The centre will provide state-of-the-art learning environments that will become the Centre of Excellence for advanced engineering, technology and energy solutions on the Fylde Coast and across Lancashire.”

The Centre will incorporate the most innovative sustainable technologies, while expert staff will deliver a curriculum with technical skills development, employability, enterprise and sustainability at its core.

The project will be part-funded by the Skills Funding Agency under its College Capital Investment Fund – aimed at supporting skills training in sectors deemed vital for growing British industry.

The £10.3million project will also see the Construction Skills Centre developed further to support the construction and renewable technology industries.

Work on the Construction Skills Centre is scheduled to take place from March-December 2014 and the Advanced Technology Centre from June 2014 – July 2015, opening to students in September 2015.</span>

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