New engineering centre to train the next generation

Jessica Stork, 21, and Thomas Hewitt, 18, at Tuesdays launch
Jessica Stork, 21, and Thomas Hewitt, 18, at Tuesdays launch

East Riding College has opened a new £385,000 mechatronics centre at its Bridlington campus in St Mary’s Walk.

It will deliver specialised courses to meet the demands of the highly-skilled modern engineering industry.

Guests at the opening of the centre

Guests at the opening of the centre

Mechatronics is the branch of engineering that focuses on designing and manufacturing products that have both mechanical and electronic components.

The centre has opened thanks to funding provided by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership and equipment generously donated by various suppliers to the industry, and aims to inspire teenagres into a career in engineering.

John Doris, the college’s vice-principal for finance and resources, said: “The new centre, along with the HEAD into Engineering programme really puts us in the best position to train highly-skilled engineers in our region.

“We collaborated with employers, suppliers and other education providers on this project to ensure that students will be able to train on industry-standard equipment and the industry has been very supportive advising on and in some cases, providing the latest state-of- the-art machinery for our students.

Karl Watson inside the new centre

Karl Watson inside the new centre

“It shows a real desire in the industry to invest in the next generation of engineers.”

York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership has put in £225,000 and equipment and software worth £110,000 has been donated.

The centre will supports the innovative engineering pathway established through the HEAD into Engineering partnership – a collaborative agreement between Headlands School in Bridlington, East Riding College, AB Graphic International and Derwent Training Association.

HEAD into Engineering is a programme for pupils in years 10 and 11 at school to have a clear engineering pathway as a GCSE option, which can lead them on to full-time courses at college or an apprenticeship and provide their first steps into a career in the industry.

Ryan Softley, 18, learns from tutor Dave Britton

Ryan Softley, 18, learns from tutor Dave Britton

Phil Robson, operations manager for AB Graphic International, said: “AB Graphic International is delighted to be associated with the new Bridlington Mechatronics Centre.

“It’s important to us to support people into our industry and be able to recruit local talent at our head office and manufacturing plant in the East Riding. The centre gives young people the opportunity to develop the practical and problem-solving skills that employers in manufacturing and engineering want, making them extremely employable, in our eyes.

“The future looks bright for Bridlington’s budding engineers.”