£4m Leighton skills centre taking shape

(L-R) Mason Ashby, Tyler Radon, Owen Davies, Level 2 Electronics students from Central Beds College,  Brittany Fuller Buckland Level 3 Engineering Student from Central Beds College.
(L-R) Mason Ashby, Tyler Radon, Owen Davies, Level 2 Electronics students from Central Beds College, Brittany Fuller Buckland Level 3 Engineering Student from Central Beds College.
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Central Bedfordshire College’s construction and engineering students proudly tightened the last nut on the steel frame for the college’s new £4m Skills and Technology Centre currently being built in Chartmoor Road in Leighton Buzzard.

The event marked a key milestone in the construction of the site which is due for completion in July and will be opening its doors to students in September 2017.

(L-R) Paul Thompson Employer & Skills Manager for SEMLEP, Richard Carr Chief Executive Central Beds Council, RT Hon Andrew Selous MP, Ali Hadawi CBE Principal & Chief Executive for Central Beds College.

(L-R) Paul Thompson Employer & Skills Manager for SEMLEP, Richard Carr Chief Executive Central Beds Council, RT Hon Andrew Selous MP, Ali Hadawi CBE Principal & Chief Executive for Central Beds College.

Key stakeholders turned out in the cold, to demonstrate their support for the project which is designed to support the growing skills needs of the area; this is also at a time when there is significant population and economic growth forecast for the region.

Andrew Selous MP, who is a champion for skills development, attended the event alongside captains of industry from British Aerospace Engineering, Hone – All Precision and Ashe Construction.

Mr Selous said: “I’m delighted to see Leighton Buzzard and Linslade’s new Engineering and Construction Skills Centre going up, to be ready for students this September. It’s a much needed facility for students and businesses locally, and I am delighted to see taking shape.”

College principal Ali Hadawi said: “It was great to have our students involved in this event today as they are the engineers and technicians of the future who will benefit from this high-tech centre where they will gain advanced technical skills.

(L-R) Richard Carr Chief Executive for Central Beds Council, Paul Thompson Employer & Skills Manager for SEMLEP, Eamonn Eagan Vice Principal Central Beds College, Sarah Mortimer Vice Principal Central Beds College, Councillor Stephen Cotter Mayor Leighton Linslade Town Council, Paula Devine Beds Chamber of Commerce, Trevor Hughes Engineering Director BE Aerospace, Ali Hadawi CBE Principal & Chief Executive Central Beds College, Andrea Rodney Director Hone-All Precision (at front)

(L-R) Richard Carr Chief Executive for Central Beds Council, Paul Thompson Employer & Skills Manager for SEMLEP, Eamonn Eagan Vice Principal Central Beds College, Sarah Mortimer Vice Principal Central Beds College, Councillor Stephen Cotter Mayor Leighton Linslade Town Council, Paula Devine Beds Chamber of Commerce, Trevor Hughes Engineering Director BE Aerospace, Ali Hadawi CBE Principal & Chief Executive Central Beds College, Andrea Rodney Director Hone-All Precision (at front)

“The close involvement from industry means our students will gain industry relevant skills that they can take forward to university or employment in any number of companies in the local area.”

Hilary Chipping, Deputy Chief Executive of SEMLEP, said: “This fabulous new facility represents a great opportunity for young people to develop their skills and prepare for the world of work.

“Equipping our future workforce with the skills they need to access jobs locally is a perfect example of how Local Growth Deal funding can help to improve productivity and make a long-lasting difference to our communities.”

The £2.5 million centre which is a joint venture between Central Beds College and SEMLEP, will house professionally equipped state-of-the-art workshops for the engineering, construction, motor vehicle and aerospace industries.

Applications are open for courses starting in September 2017 – visit centralbeds.ac.uk/courses to apply.