Calderdale College expands engineering offering with a new Brighouse campus

Calderdale College has joined forces with the charity formerly known as Kirkdale Industrial Training Services (KITS) to launch a wide range of engineering qualifications at a new campus in Brighouse, a pivotal move that will significantly expand training opportunities for residents across West Yorkshire.

By Abigail Kellett
Thursday, 4th March 2021, 12:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 3:29 pm
The move follows the closure of the KITS training centre on Armytage Road in 2020
The move follows the closure of the KITS training centre on Armytage Road in 2020

The move follows the closure of the KITS training centre on Armytage Road in 2020, which left businesses and residents without access to engineering apprenticeships.

From September 2021, thanks to support from Calderdale College, the specialist campus will serve a wide geographical area covering Kirklees, Bradford and Calderdale.

Pioneers at the College will join bosses from some of the region’s leading manufacturing businesses, including Denford Ltd, Colchester Machine Tool Solutions, Hargreaves Foundry Group, Severn Unival Ltd and Cutwel Ltd to form a new partnership.

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Together the group will reopen the Centre which has delivered accredited courses and trained more than 450 apprentices annually over the last 20 years.

Calderdale College will provide a range of manufacturing and engineering apprenticeships at the campus, responding to the skills demands of the local area where Advanced Manufacturing is one of the largest sectors.

Andrew Denford, Chair of the Interim Board,, said of the new campus and partnership: “The news last year that there would be no apprenticeship provision for engineering locally left many residents and businesses deeply disappointed. By working with Calderdale College, we are able to serve the needs of businesses, apprentices and our community by delivering an extensive curriculum that is designed to meet the needs of employers.”

Calderdale College will begin by running a range of apprenticeships including Motor Vehicle, Maintenance and Operations, Lean Manufacturing, Engineering Operative, Maintenance Electrician and Supply Chain Warehouse Operative. This could expand further into full time vocational programmes, as well as workforce development courses for employed people.

John Rees, Principal and Chief Executive of Calderdale College, added: “This is a real opportunity for Calderdale College to respond to the needs of a major employing sector in the district and the region, creating new opportunities for residents, with a particular focus on young people leaving school.

“We have a reputation as the best college for student results and we’re rated Ofsted Outstanding for apprenticeships which stands us in a fantastic position to play a central role in this development. We will establish a network of employers who will work together to make a real difference to the region by delivering specialist training that is designed to suit the needs of industry.

“With the news from the Chancellor’s Budget that the financial incentive for hiring an apprentice will double to £3000 for the next six months, we would urge employers to get in touch and take advantage of the scheme and our new facilities.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Coun Jane Scullion, said: “It’s great news that young people in the area now have another option when considering their future path.

"Having a local facility for engineering qualifications will not only provide further opportunities for apprenticeships, but by supporting close links with local employers it can also help local businesses recruit people with the right skills for their sector – subsequently providing a boost for the local economy.”

Would you like to study an engineering apprenticeship? Visit to select your course and register your interest.