Work has started on the development of the
College’s Centre of Excellence in Engineering & Construction based at the
The expansion to its facilities comes after receiving
approval from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) for a
The College received £603,000 from GMCA’s Skills Capital
fund which is being used to support a total project cost of £1.8million.
Resources are being improved upon to ensure the technologies
of robotics, artificial intelligences, mechatronics, algorithm engineering and
other digital technologies are fully embraced.
The project will allow students to benefit from a new
additive manufacturing laboratory as well as an extension to its current Social
Learning Hub, creating more space for the increased number of learners.
College Principal, Anna Dawe said: “The investment will see the expansion of facilities in response to significant growth in student numbers and will provide specialist accommodation for our degree apprentices and higher education students.”
The project will also include the creation of a new plumbing
workshop, a thermo / fluid laboratory, materials / process laboratory as well
as the expansion to the brickwork facilities.
These additions will replicate modern real working
environments that cater to the needs of students and employers. The curriculum,
delivered at Pagefield and its resources, tailors to all of the engineering
specialisms and contributes to fully prepare students to be ‘work ready’.
The College’s ambition to continually improve and grow its
industry standard facilities reflects the GM Work and Skills Strategy by
focusing on value added and high employment.
The North West is the UK’s largest manufacturing and
advanced engineering cluster and has the highest number of employees employed
in manufacturing of any UK region whilst the construction sector employs around
54,000 people in Greater Manchester with a gross value added of £3bn.
The demand for jobs is ever growing and an additional 19,000
jobs are predicted by 2035.
Anna Dawe added: “The bid was supported by national and local employers and this will reinforce their commitment to supporting the College and providing career opportunities for Wigan residents in these priority sectors.”