Engineering students from East Riding College are now benefitting from £220,000 of new industry standard equipment, thanks to a grant from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).
The installation of the computer numerical controlled (CNC) equipment means that learners are working on the latest in industry technology and are well prepared to join the region’s workforce.
The equipment has been installed at the Gallows Lane site in Beverley over the summer and includes new lathes, milling machines and a machining centre.
Engineering curriculum leader Paul Skelly said: “The students were so pleased to see the new equipment and they recognise how it’s an advantage to have worked on these machines when it comes to applying for jobs.
“This really is the high quality machinery you see in the workplace. The fact it can be programmed means students can turn out precision work in a fraction of the time it takes on the old manual equipment.”
Each of the CNC machines can be programmed – as opposed to traditional operation by hand – on an integrated console or by uploading 3D computer-generated images.
The grant follows a project bid to the SFA and represents the College’s increasing focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in response to government priorities.
It was backed by local firms Neptune Sonar, D and D Engineering and John Hall Engineering, who all highlighted the importance of CNC skills and knowledge in employees.
Kayleigh Collins, 17, from Beverley, who is on the Level Three BTEC Extended Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering, said: “I love this machinery. It’s a lot easier than the old machines. I have worked on this kind of machinery when I did my work experience.
“It will help me to get into work because you need to know how to use these machines as they are what the companies have.”
Michael Fisher, 19, from Beverley, who is on the Level Three EAL Diploma in Engineering and Technology, said: “It’s good to be working with modern technology and computers. It’s quicker, easier and a lot more accurate, and you don’t have to keep stopping to measure your work all the time.”
The grant has also paid for a band saw, a surface grinder and 18 engineering science packs which will help tutors to teach topics such as tension, energy, friction and torsion.
There is still time to enrol on engineering or other subjects at East Riding College. Call 0845 120 0037.