A new engineering centre of excellence has opened in Gainsborough.
Engineering firms from the Gainsborough area have been praised for their collaborative approach to making training opportunities available for young people.
The new centre of engineering excellence officially opened in the town today (11th September) and it is down to a unique partnership that has made it possible.
The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership is supporting the Made In Gainsborough Initiative and has contributed £12,913 for the first phase of the project and a provisional future allocation of £14,492 has been agreed for phase. This will support the re-location of milling and turning provision to Gainsborough in year 2.
Clare Hughes, who leads on skills at the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “It's easy to overlook the fantastic businesses we have right on our doorstep because they are hidden on industrial estates or behind large factory doors.
“The Made in Gainsborough initiative will change this by highlighting some of the products we engineer, right here in Lincolnshire, and by making training available for the skilled jobs on offer.
“It's really great to see local employers, large and small, collaborating in this way, not only for the benefit of their own businesses, but also in support of local young people.”
Key engineering companies in Gainsborough which manufacture products worldwide said they were competing to fill vacancies and struggling to find local training. The challenge is to sustain this important industrial sector in a difficult economic environment and a critical part of this will be to grow talent and skills within the area.
They teamed up with the LEP, West Lindsey District Council and Gainsborough College to come up with a training solution for their long-term economic sustainability.
The businesses include: A. Schulman, AMP Rose, Clean Tech, Eminox, Hooton Engineering, Regal Manufacturing Ltd, Trepko, Wefco.
Andrew Mann, Production Manager for AMP Rose, attended the official launch and said it was great to see the centre open and filled with students.
He said: “Before now, the closest apprenticeship schemes were in Lincoln and Scunthorpe. When the vacancies for Made In Gainsborough launched, we were inundated with applications – we were well over-subscribed.
“This shows that there wasn’t just a demand for local companies, but for the young people of Gainsborough too."
The Chairman of West Lindsey District Council, Councillor Pat Mewis, was invited by the college to officially open the new facility and cut the chain.
She said: “I am delighted to officially open this wonderful engineering centre of excellence. Made in Gainsborough is a truly collaborative initiative, which has been led by engineering businesses in the town, with the support of the GLEEP, the college and the council.
“Together we have been able to secure this wonderful training facility, which will develop future engineering specialists and support the businesses as they continue to grow to support our economy.
“I am very impressed with the facilities and I wish all the students and businesses every success in the future.”
Twenty students have signed up to the engineering college, which includes a number of apprentices and full-time learners, ready to start their engineering careers.
Harry Comte, 19, Gainsborough – Apprentice, AMP Rose has enrolled onto the course. He said: “I’m excited to be starting my apprenticeship with Gainsborough College and AMP Rose – I’m buzzing! I knew I wanted a career in engineering so started looking for apprenticeships online, when I found Made In Gainsborough. It’s great because it is local and I don’t have a long drive.”
Niall Crane, 18, is an apprentice at Eminox and travels from nearby Doncaster to attend the course. He said: “I previously spent two years studying engineering at a different college but it was all theory where I sat in a classroom to learn. This course is more practical and I am keen to get stuck in doing more hands-on learning.”
Pictured are Councillor Pat Mewis and Gary Headland from Gainsborough College cutting the chain to open the new centre.