“A one-stop shop for the manufacturing sector” - New engineering centre in Brighouse will help to plug skills gap

An engineering centre that is helping to plug a significant skills gap in the region has been launched in Brighouse.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 9:26 am
Calderdale College Principal John Rees, Metro Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin, and Andrew Denford, Chair of WYMS

Metro Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin launched Calderdale College’s new Engineering Centre on Armytage Road, Brighouse, this week, in her first public address since restrictions eased.

Welcoming a new era for the engineering and manufacturing facility for Calderdale and surrounding areas, the Centre also marks a major milestone in the Mayor’s Manufacturing Task Force progress, changing the life chances of young people through news skills and training.

At the launch event, the Mayor praised a collaborative effort by Calderdale College and partners for furnishing the engineering sector for the future, and significantly expanding training opportunities for young people in the region, by reopening what will now be their latest specialist campus.

Tracy Brabin said: “The jobs are out there, but business leaders in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors haven’t been able to find the skilled workforce they need because of a lack of quality training. My concern has always been the impact this will have on the life chances of young people in our region, who’ve had a rough few years during the pandemic.

“We need to do everything we can to stop them falling further behind by providing relevant training and skills in these sectors, in an entirely inclusive, diverse environment, otherwise we risk setting back countless people’s careers and diminishing opportunities. The new Engineering Centre fills the void, ensuring young people from all backgrounds gain the skills they need to become the engineers and designers of the future, those who will be able to take our world-class, modern manufacturing sector forward. A healthy, green and sustainable manufacturing sector is vital to the future of West Yorkshire, and the launch of The Engineering Centre will help us achieve that.”

From September 2021, Calderdale College, which is rated Ofsted Outstanding for Apprenticeships, will offer a wide range of engineering and manufacturing qualifications to residents across Kirklees, Bradford and Calderdale, including motor vehicle, maintenance and operations, lean manufacturing, engineering operative, maintenance electrician and supply chain warehouse operative. The extensive curriculum has been designed specifically to meet the needs of the local economy, in partnership with employers.

John Rees, Chief Executive of Calderdale College, adds: “The Engineering Centre will improve our learners’ lives and prospects, help local businesses flourish, and support the growth of our local economy.

“Together with our partners, we have collaborated to make a real difference in the engineering and manufacturing space. We have a fresh new offer designed by, and for, employers, new opportunities and a new team delivering new apprenticeship standards in Engineering and Manufacturing, and our vision is to become the best engineering training facility in the UK. The workshops and equipment the students now have access to will give them a competitive edge when it comes to applying for jobs in their chosen industries, and West Yorkshire’s engineers and manufacturers can access a range of services from a central hub.”

Andrew Denford, Chair of West Yorkshire Manufacturing Services, concluded: “We’ve created a wonderful new partnership with Calderdale College and put a lot of investment into getting the facility back and running in time for September 1. We want to encourage all businesses to come here, a one stop shop for the manufacturing sector where we can give you everything you need to grow your businesses. We’re looking forward to what’s ahead, alongside the successful partnership with the College.”

The Mayor was joined by pioneers from the College and bosses from some of the region’s leading manufacturing businesses at the launch of the Centre and the College’s apprenticeship provision, including Denford Ltd, Colchester Machine Tool Solutions, Hargreaves Foundry Group, Severn Unival Ltd and Cutwel Ltd.

Local businesses are now being encouraged to take advantage of the scheme and the new facilities. Is your business interested in hiring an apprentice? Contact [email protected] or call 01422 418 430.

Would you like to study an engineering apprenticeship? Visit www.calderdale.ac.uk/engineering to select your course and register your interest.