A NEW engineering centre has launched in Evesham.

The specialist faculty at Evesham College is a joint venture by the college and the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and will provide a real life engineering environment for trainees. The project represents a joint investment of over £430,000.

Facilities include a metrology and mechanical science laboratory, a fully equipped CAD suite including 3D printer, as well as a refurbished workshop area including CNC units, bench fitting, turning and milling machinery.

The centre will offer a variety of new engineering courses from September 2018 and will focus on training mechanical engineers at levels 1, 2 and 3.

The college is also working with the University of Gloucestershire to develop full degree level provision that supports the engineering knowledge and skills required for the local economy.

Last year the Government identified a critical shortfall of engineering talent in the UK and announced 2018 as the Year of Engineering.

According to the Royal Academy of Engineers there is currently a need for one million more engineers in the UK between now and 2020.

The collaboration is in response to the skills needs in south Worcestershire and will enable the college to build further links with employers and schools to promote careers in engineering, as well as training for both full-time students and apprentices.

It is hoped that the initiative will send the message to young people and those involved in giving careers advice that modern engineering is a high tech, exciting and rewarding career choice.

The centre was officially launched on Wednesday April 25 by Chris White, president of WCG and Garry Woodman, chief executive of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Gary Woodman, chief executive of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It was great to be a part of the launch event for Evesham College Engineering Centre. Worcestershire LEP has invested a total of £313,000 into this new Engineering centre which will help to reduce the skills shortage that some engineering businesses are facing in the county.”

Angela Joyce, WCG group principal and chief executive, said: “Nationally, the UK needs one million additional engineers by 2020 and Worcestershire requires its own highly skilled individuals if it is to realise its growth potential.

“Our specially-equipped facility at Evesham College provides a real-world engineering environment and students will get the opportunity to work alongside highly experienced tutors and in a variety of workplace situations. This will enable them to gain an understanding of the skills they’ll need to succeed in engineering.”