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St Helens College unveils £1m Centre for Precision Engineering

St Helens College recently welcomed Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, to officially unveil their new Centre for Precision Engineering at the STEM Centre, Technology Campus.

The unveiling, which coincided with the College’s School Leavers’ Open Event and Waterside Training’s Apprenticeship Open Event, was supported by special guests including the Mayor of St Helens, Cllr Sue Murphy, and other key stakeholders.

Guests, parents and prospective students received an exclusive tour of the facility and had the opportunity to chat to College tutors and current apprentices and assessors from Waterside Training Ltd, a subsidiary training company with over 60 years success in providing high quality engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships across the country. Waterside Training’s employer partners including Stateside Foods and NGF Europe were also in attendance to discuss engineering apprenticeship opportunities with visitors.

The £1m investment, partially funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, supported the installation of brand new industry standard machinery and equipment such as Wi-Fi enabled Haas CNC Machines, Axis Lathes, Milling Machines and Haas Simulators, to provide students and apprentices with the opportunity to develop their skills and learn all aspects of modern precision engineering including design, testing, manufacturing and operations.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: “As someone who is especially passionate about skills and technical subjects, it’s fantastic to see our £1m investment in the college paying off. The new equipment is absolutely world class; I’m sure that our young people will benefit from it. Hopefully they will develop a passion for STEAM subjects and go on to be the engineers of tomorrow!”

Many engineering students and apprentices at St Helens College and Waterside Training are already benefitting from the new facility, with Rebecca, Mechanical Engineering Apprentice at Cheshire Seals and Components, commenting: “It’s an incredible environment to learn in – you are learning to use real machinery and equipment that meets the training and knowledge requirements expected by your employer, so it means that I’m able to train effectively in my role and hopefully, progress forward in my career.”

Simon Pierce, CEO and Principal at St Helens College, said: “The Centre for Precision Engineering is a great asset for the College and our community. It will enhance our students’ learning and career prospects, support local businesses to grow and expand and support the growth of our local economy.”

“In collaboration with our employer partners, we have developed a responsive curriculum, encompassing technical, vocational engineering provision and apprenticeship standards, which we are looking to shape and build upon in the future to address the changing engineering landscape and our Centre for Precision Engineering is an exciting starting point.”