Liverpool City Region’s leading engineering skills college unveiled a new company brand on Monday 03rd October, following a £500,000 refurbishment of its 6500m2 facilities in Birkenhead, part-funded through Liverpool City Region’s Growth Deal. The newly rebranded Engineering College, formerly known as Maritime & Engineering College, is based next to Cammell Laird in Monk’s Ferry.
First founded in 1998 today the college has a turnover of £1.7million and 38 staff. It has grown apprentice numbers to 330, drawn from 70 clients ranging from large private businesses including Cammell Laird, Balfour Beatty and Clarke Energy to SMEs including Sovex and Laker Vent.
But the Engineering College’s CEO Terry Weston said he wanted the new brand and improved facilities to double the size of the college over five years, plugging the ‘massive engineering skills shortage’ in the region.
He said: “The college has been very successful but our profile needs to be higher and we want to be better understood by the marketplace.
“This is why we have rebranded. Historically we have been seen wrongly as working mainly in the maritime industry. Our offer is much broader, we can train apprentices and staff across sectors including construction, nuclear, petrochemical, renewables, oil and gas and the NHS – as well as maritime.”
Asif Hamid, Interim Chair of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “I am extremely pleased to see Growth Deal funding being allocated to our City Region Colleges.
“This investment will further support the work done at the Engineering College to tackle the skills shortage in the City Region and drive growth across the engineering sector.”
Councillor Ian Maher, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Employment and Skills added: “We are pleased to have made this £243,000 co-investment from our Skills Capital Investment Fund (secured via the Growth Deal) in the Engineering College’s recent refurbishment.
“Apprentices and other learners will benefit from additional classroom space and the purchase of high tech engineering equipment to train with including a virtual welding simulator.
“This investment is part of a multi-million pound commitment to enhance successful training facilities across Liverpool City Region to give more young people and adults the skills needed to gain high quality employment.”
Mr Weston said he wanted companies, who are struggling to find skilled engineers, to see the Engineering College as a solution to the problem.
He said: “We know there is a shortage of engineers and we know that is holding businesses and public sector organisations back, a factor keenly identified by the LEP.
Mr Weston said a key strength of the Engineering College is that it can also offer pre trained ‘work ready’ apprentices for employers.
He said: “We can save employers time and money by having a constant supply of apprenticeship applicants who have already undertaken our rigorous pre-apprenticeship programme.
“This helps us weed out those who are not suited to certain career choices and ensure the candidates, with the right attitude and approach, are properly trained in safety procedures and can start straight away. This is a big headache off employers’ hands.”
Mr Weston said the Engineering College will also be running courses for former Armed Forces personnel offering career transfer training. The college will further run non-technical training including first aid, working at height and confined space rescue.