Industrial giant Sembcorp makes major donation to Tees college

The equipment from Sembcorp's Wilton operation is worth tens of thousands of pounds

(L-R) Patrick Pogue, Ian Smith, Zoe Lewis and George Ritchie
(L-R) Patrick Pogue, Ian Smith, Zoe Lewis and George Ritchie

Global industrial giant Sembcorp has provided a major boost to the £12m STEM Centre being built by Middlesbrough College.

Sembcorp Utilities UK, based at the Wilton International site, is donating tens of thousands of pounds worth of equipment to the new training facility, which is currently taking shape on the Middlehaven site.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Centre will play a key role in meeting the needs of employers across a wide range of sectors by training future engineers as well as offering programmes for workers already in industry.

George Ritchie, Sembcorp’s senior vice president for HR, said the donation demonstrated the company’s commitment to the centre and showed the level of support for the “massive leap of faith” the college is taking on behalf of the region and its employers.

He said: “It’s a critical time for industry on Teesside and the STEM Centre will play a vital role in bridging the skills gap, not just locally but right across the region providing traineeships, apprenticeships, higher apprenticeships and bespoke training for companies.

“It was very fortuitous that Boiler 6 – the coal-fire unit at Wilton Power Station, which has been in existence for more than 60 years, closed recently and a lot of equipment had become surplus to requirements.

“It seems only right that we donate it to the STEM Centre where it will be used to help train the engineers of the future.”

Equipment donated includes pumps, valves, pipework, filters, exchangers, coolers, heaters, fixings and fasteners, instrumentation and controls, bearings and racking, all of which will help create real working environment for students and visitors when the centre opens next year.

Zoe Lewis, the college’s principal and chief executive, said: “We’re overwhelmed by the generosity shown by the management team at Sembcorp, it’s beyond all expectations. We can assure them that the equipment will be put to good use.”

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