Fenland college is ready to meet demand for more engineers

College of West Anglia Isle Campus.

College of West Anglia Isle Campus. - Credit: Archant

The College of West Anglia (CWA) is ready to face skills gap head on, with its state of the art facilities, training programmes and industry-trained staff.

CWA Engineering Apprentice Rose Bradshaw

CWA Engineering Apprentice Rose Bradshaw - Credit: Archant

A recent report titled “The State of Engineering,” produced by Engineering UK, highlights the importance of engineering and skilled engineers and their vital contribution to the UK economy.

The report also showed that in many areas of the country, education does not have either the current capacity or the required rate of growth needed to meet the forecast demand for skilled engineers by 2022.

The College of West Anglia recognised the growth required and along with partners including Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council, Norfolk County Council and Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, have invested heavily into its facilities and courses on offer.

This has included a £5.8m technology centre at the King’s Lynn campus, opened in 2012, and a £7.2m centre at the Isle campus in Wisbech in 2013. The new buildings offer facilities including engineering and electrotechnical and specialist commercial training areas.

CWA Engineering Apprentice Luke Wilson.JPG

CWA Engineering Apprentice Luke Wilson.JPG - Credit: Archant

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Stephen Lowery, head of faculty for technology at CWA, said: “The report confirms the challenges that we already know exist and this is even more prevalent here in East Anglia. There will be 2.56 million job opportunities in the UK between now and 2022, we want to be making sure that we as a college are supporting local employers by meeting their training needs and giving them opportunity to expand.”

Susie Massen, Head of Apprenticeships and Work Based Learning at CWA said: “CWA currently has over 300 engineering apprentices across the two campuses, all employed with a range of local and national engineering and electrical companies.

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“Our engineering apprenticeships are designed to meet employer needs and current industry expectations. We have well established working relationships with many local companies, but are always interested in talking to businesses looking to expand their workforce or needing to re-train existing members of staff,”

And Andy Leet, Chairman at Wisbech-based engineering business SB Components added “By working together with the College of West Anglia we are proud to recruit and train local youngsters. The college offers our business the opportunity to improve and enhance the skills of our apprentices in a way that is not only beneficial to those individuals but also helps to develop the capabilities that our company needs for future profitable growth,”

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