Middlesbrough's new £20m skills training centre today welcomed its first student - Terry Freer, quality, health, safety and environment coordinator at PD Ports.
The purpose-built centre at Middlesbrough College focuses on science, technology, engineering and maths – it boasts a genuine industrial environment and is the only one of its kind in the North East.
An advisory board of more than 40 leading employers focussed on the facilities, equipment, staff and courses that are being delivered within the impressive new building.
The centre offers tailor-made courses to those already working in industry and will train a new generation of apprentices.
Terry – who has been employed at PD Ports for 25 years - is embarking on a NEBOSH Diploma at the STEM Centre.
He said: “The centre is a superb facility and means people can train in an industrial and educational environment.
“I’m delighted to be the first student through the doors and I can’t wait to get started on the diploma, which will help me increase my skills and may lead to further career progression.”
Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive, said: “British industry is facing a skills gap – needing 100,000 new graduates in STEM subjects every year until 2020 just to maintain current employment numbers.
“The college’s new STEM Centre is providing a real solution to that skills gap by delivering world class training for employers and students.”
Taking shape within the centre are three sections of industrial facilities – Process Operations and Maintenance, an Advanced Manufacturing Centre, and Logistics and Warehousing.
The centre also houses a DCS control room which monitors and operates all the processes, including a fully functional control system overlooking the process hall with operator workstations.
Companies involved in the centre’s development include Bignall Group, Casper Shipping Ltd, Caterpillar UK, Centre for Process Innovation, Cleveland Potash Ltd, Cogent Group (TAS), Conoco Phillips, Cordell Group, ECITB, EEF, ElringKlinger GB Ltd, Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, Heerema, Huntsman Pigments, Huntsman Polyurethane, INEOS Nitriles (UK) Ltd, Johnson Matthey, K Home International Ltd, Lotte Chemicals, Lucite, NIFCO, NorthEast Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), PD Ports, Redcar Bulk Terminal, Sembcorp, SABIC UK Petrochemicals, Tees Components and Wilton Engineering.
Visit www.mbro.ac.uk to find out more about the training available at the STEM Centre.