£300k investment to carve open new training opportunities for engineers

Gateshead College has invested £300,000 in state-of-the-art computer controlled machining (CNC) equipment to help companies develop the next generation of highly skilled engineers.

Installed in the college’s Team Valley-based Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics, the new kit will enable the college to offer a brand new suite of training for precision manufacturers.

The training will include apprenticeships at levels 2 and 3 and a range of workforce development courses designed to upskill existing employees in all aspects of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining, from basic knowledge of setting tools and programming of parts to a more advanced stage of offline programming, setting and running a CNC milling machine or lathe.

As part of the project, which was supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund programme, Gateshead College purchased a range of milling machines, lathes and a 3D printer, which will allow companies to test and create accurate 3D models of their product designs. The printer will also be available for commercial hire.  

The new kit will allow operators to trial engineering projects to see if they will work, potentially saving employers a significant amount of time and money on schemes which may not be commercially viable.

Up to 16 operators will learn how to use the equipment at any one time and the training will give them the knowledge and confidence to use similar pieces of kit when they get back to the workplace.

Mick Brophy, managing director of business, innovation and development at Gateshead College, said: “This significant investment will enable employers to access cutting-edge equipment and training that will increase the skills base of their workforce. In giving their staff the opportunity to gain nationally recognised qualifications, these companies will be able to improve their competitiveness, upskill existing employees, embed much-needed skills in  new recruits and apprentices and put themselves in a better position to win new contracts. 

“This investment reflects our commitment to having the best kit and facilities available to deliver the highly trained workforces required by North East-based engineering employers.”

Gateshead College will be hosting two open events for engineering employers, from 8.30am to 9.30am on Wednesday 28th May and 4.30pm to 5.30pm on Thursday 29th May. Both will be held at the Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics.

Attendees will be able to take a tour of the facilities, witness a demo of the new equipment and find out more about the training on offer.

For further information on the open days or the new training on offer at Gateshead College, please contact 0191 490 2415.