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  • East Riding College and William Birch celebrate colleges week by launching new institute of technology

    William Birch & Sons Ltd and East Riding College held a ground breaking event on 19 October at its Flemingate campus in Beverley as part of celebration for Colleges Week 2020.

    The £2.1m investment will see the construction of a new single storey extension to create an Institute of Technology at the Beverley campus, which will be one of only 12 such institutes across the country. The new building will house specialist high-level training facilities for engineering and is designed to help close the technical skills gaps in key STEM areas and provide employers with the skilled workforce they need.

    The project has been supported with nearly half a million pounds from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the Humber LEP and part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.

    Work will commence on site shortly and is scheduled for completion in summer 2021.

    Mike Welsh, Principal at East Riding College, said:

    “I am extremely pleased to be able to mark the start of a brand new phase of development at East Riding College during Colleges Week.  It is part of the high profile Government investment in an Institute of Technology for Yorkshire and the Humber, and we have worked with college and university partners from across the region to make this happen.  What it means is a substantial investment in higher-level technical engineering and construction skills locally, where they are needed, to fill skills gaps and provide employers with the skilled workforce they need to drive our economic recovery.”

    Gill Alton, OBE, Group CEO of the TEC Partnership, of which East Riding College is part, said:

    “Our aim is to ensure that all of our students, regardless of location, age or circumstance are given the opportunities they deserve – including entering the jobs market equipped with the skills they need to achieve their ambitions. Never has this been more important, as colleges will play a significant role in helping our communities to recover from the impact of the pandemic.”

    The Yorkshire and Humber IoT brings investment of circa £12million of capital funding into the region, which will be invested in industry standard equipment and facilities to provide higher level technical training.  Part of the £2.1m investment at East Riding College will fund an extension to its Flemingate campus, housing specialist high-level training facilities for engineering.

    Gemma Shahjahan, Director at William Birch & Sons Ltd, the selected principal contractor said:

    “We’re delighted to be working on such an exciting and worthwhile project with East Riding College to build part of the Yorkshire and Humber IOT.  We can see the advantages that such a facility will bring to the region, and higher level STEM training in construction, engineering and technical professions is obviously something that is close to our heart, as it brings benefits to our industry and to our region. Added to this we see the project as a real opportunity to reach out and engage students in a live and operational building project offering a fantastic learning resource.”

    The massive training boost will enhance students’ employment opportunities and improve the number of suitably qualified candidates in the technical and professional jobs market.

    East Riding College’s IoT will develop the highly specialised skills required by employers in the engineering and construction industries, such as higher level Computer Aided Design (CAD) and higher technical Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) skills.  The new Institute will also accommodate specialist stress testing equipment to teach engineering science, such as the science of materials and structures.

    Stephen Parnaby OBE, Chair of the Humber LEP said:

    “We’re very pleased to support this project with £469,000 from our Local Growth Fund allocation as part of the Engineering Future Growth programme. The centre will deliver a high quality curricula for the region’s students in a bespoke facility, which will replicate the requirements most needed by employers.”

    The Yorkshire and Humber IoT has received significant levels of employer support. Digital and Engineering businesses ViSR, CATCH, Skipton Building Society, GB Recruitment and ENGIE Fabricom each recognised the need for investment in education to address their wider skills shortages and signed up as employer partners. They have been involved in designing the appropriate curriculum, supported by research from the IOT’s university partners, University of York St John and the University of Hull.

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