£3m Bridgnorth training centre welcomes first apprentices
A £3 million training centre which is set to deliver thousands of apprenticeships in Shropshire over the coming years has opened its doors.
The Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology in Bridgnorth opened for the first learner cohort on Monday. With 40 youngsters already signed up, the first cohort will see the first 21 learners using the centre, which is earmarked to train 2,020 young people by 2020.
The MCMT has received £1.9 million of Government Growth Deal funding via the Marches LEP to bring the concept into reality, with a further £1.1 million of other funding.
It means the centre is kitted out with state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing equipment that will train the engineers of the future for the whole of the Marches region.
The new centre is a hub which will be fed by several spokes, including the InComm Training Academy Shropshire which is based at Salop Design & Engineering in Shrewsbury, and which already have 46 apprentices training.
The MCMT will provide a high-tech environment for youngsters to learn from engineering experts on the latest technology – with the aim of giving them opportunities to apply their skills to real-life manufacturing.
Based on The Stanmore Industrial Estate in Bridgnorth, the MCMT has dedicated fabrication, foundry, lathe, metrology, milling, robotics and vehicle trimming sections, as well as a specialist CNC Zone.
There is an auditorium lecture theatre, vehicle ramps and a hub dyno road test facility. There are 30 manual lathes and milling centres, a Laser Romer arm for metrology, Bridgeport CNC Centres, an Automation Robotic Line and testing machines.
Salop Design’s commercial director Christopher Greenough said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to train the engineers of the future, help support manufacturing and engineering companies in this region grow and thrive in a highly competitive market, and will contribute to raising the GVA of Shropshire.
"We have been working with Classic Motor Cars, Grainger & Worrall and Incomm Training for 18 months to create this new Bridgnorth centre, and it is great to see the hard work and effort bring to fruition a world class facility, that truly is a blueprint for training provision for this country.
"Manufacturers, working with training providers, to lead the way and promote the vocational learning route. Our apprentices are earning and learning, and can go on to get a loan free degree.”
MCMT managing director Matthew Snelson added: “By investing in skills provision, and looking to future proof our training offering, we are proud to open a centre that will be a key point of contact for all manufacturing and engineering in the region.
"We have scoped out a vision, we have a tight grip on a plan to move forward, and we are here to make our region the ‘go to’ place for high end skills.
"We look to Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, and how we can not only engage with schools and colleges, but enthuse the next generation of engineers. Inspiring engineers for a changing world."