Walsall College has announced a £300,000 investment in a new engineering manufacturing workshop.
The college is investing in the new facility to address a regional skills shortage and ‘reinvigorate’ engineering in the Black Country.
Work on the 2,744 sq ft Engineering and Manufacturing Workshop, which will be situated at the front of Green Lane Campus, is due to begin at the start of May and should be completed by July ready for an official launch in September.
Remedial works and electrical connections will be carried out by external contractors but the revamp and installation work will be completed by around 25 carpentry and decorating students as part of their work experience programme.
College bosses said the new engineering facility will help curtail the current shortfall of skilled engineers.
The college currently supports more than 80 engineering apprentices and the new workshop will allow further expansion after outgrowing their existing workshop based at the Black Country University Technical College (UTC).
A capital investment of around £300,000 is being made and the refurbished space will be equipped with the latest engineering technology and equipment designed to provide students with the employability skills to support the engineering jobs of the future.
The new workshop will offer students from Walsall and surrounding areas, as well as those at the Black Country UTC, progression into Apprenticeships and higher education at Walsall College, which has been graded outstanding by Ofsted.
Neil Sambrook, the College’s Head of Curriculum Cluster for Construction, Engineering and Science, said: “The new workshop will reintroduce and reinvigorate the Engineering curriculum offer in the Black Country.
“The project aims to support regional engineering and manufacturing employers’ requirements to take students from the most basic level of hand tool use through to higher level apprenticeship study.
“The investment will address much needed skills shortages and also criticisms that young people are not equipped with the basic skills after leaving school.”