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College pledge to fill skills gap in industry-rich Midlands

December 5th, 2013

To help address the current skills gap in the West Midlands, Solihull College has made a significant investment in state of the art facilities for both construction and engineering disciplines to ensure it can train work ready employees.

Brenda Sheils with motor vehicle students.jpg-origThis commitment to both students and local industry was solidified last week at the official VIP launch of the College’s new £8.5 million motor vehicle and construction facility at the Woodlands Campus.

Some of the West Midlands top industry names, including Jaguar Land Rover, Arup, Mansell Construction, Monarch Airlines and Snap-On Industrial joined the College to celebrate the launch. The new facility in Smith’s Wood houses twelve new workshops, enhancing and supporting the College’s offering in subject areas including motor vehicle, motor sport, engineering and construction. To celebrate this focus, the College welcomed both Marussia and Red Bull Formula 1 car models and a state of the art racing driving simulator for guests to try their hand at.

The College was also pleased to welcome three time winner British Touring Car Championship driver Matt Neal – along with his Honda Yuasa BTCC racing car to the launch. Matt, who is originally from Stourbridge said he was really impressed with the new College investment: “This fantastic facility is a great initiative and just what our country needs. Solihull College is providing skills to young people so that they can hit the ground running. Through Snap-On’s Excellence in Education programme at other colleges, we have already seen students go on to work for Formula 1 and Jaguar Land Rover and to have this facility and teaching here in the Midlands will bring benefits for all futures together”.

Matt Neal with construction and mv students.jpg-origThe College will be committing further investment to progress and enhance aeronautical engineering and its learning facilities. As well as being able to study this subject from school leaver age, the College is also in partnership with Coventry University to deliver the HND in Aeronautical Engineering. Along with the commitment to ensure students leave with the right skills, the College also requires young people to carry out Functional Skills in maths and English should they not gain a grade A-C at GCSE. Through this requirement, it is expected young people will leave with practical numeracy and literacy skills and support them as they enter employment.

To find out more about courses at Solihull College please visit www.solihull.ac.uk or call 0121 678 7000

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