New engineering centre for Birmingham

Materials World magazine
15 Apr 2019

An engineering training hub set to open in Birmingham, UK, this September, has submitted an application for funding in order to buy cutting-edge equipment. 


While £500,000 has already been granted to the facility by the Stoke and Staffordshire local enterprise partnership (LEP), an additional half million has been requested by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP. If successful, this amount would be matched by the district council, totalling a potential £1.5m. 


Concerned about its previous closure due to financial struggles, the extra monies require a £15,000 business case to determine the spending plan. The district council will review this application and is set to approve it at this week’s meeting. 


Cannock Chase Engineering Academy is part of the £6.5m Cannock Chase Skills & Innovation Hub, opened September 2018, to build and retain engineering skills in the local area, and raise the amount of skilled workers and wages. 


The engineering academy will offer 11 qualifications and 210 apprenticeship places over three years – planners expect the centre to train 1,000 people in engineering by 2022. 


A report prepared for the application claims that the centre could boost Staffordshire’s economy by £37m, through added goods and services. 


‘Cannock Chase is currently below the national average regarding residents attaining NVQ Level 4 and above,’ the bid report reads. ‘The issue is that we need to invest now in order to better equip our residents with the skills they need to be able to secure higher level (better paid) skilled positions within the district. State-of-the-art facilities are very limited locally and emerging technologies need to feature in any curriculum delivery to make the courses relevant and therefore beneficial for engineering companies to access.’