Work has begun on a £12m Centre of Excellence set to boost skills across science, technology, engineering and maths.
The STEM Centre at Middlesbrough College is being designed to deliver first-class training in advanced manufacturing, process and engineering disciplines, along with digital warehousing and logistics, for thousands of students in the region.
Principal and chief executive of the facility Zoe Lewis, along with electrical and electronic engineering student Kalani Ajisafe, 17, turned the first sod of turf at the site, which is being constructed by Esh Build, part of the Esh Group. They were joined by chairman of governors Bob Brady MBE, STEM director Ian Smith, Esh Build director of engineering Steve Ankers and construction director Paul Redman.
Lewis said: “It’s amazing to see work begin in the centre, which we know is going to boost the skills of thousands of students across the Tees Valley.
“Our priority is to help people train for the careers they want, and the STEM Centre will offer state-of-the-art facilities and the best quality training available.
“We are also in talks with major employers about how they can utilise the centre for bespoke training for their staff and how they can get involved in mentoring students and providing work experience.”
The centre is part of a £20m investment in STEM at the college and will be open in September 2015.
Redman said: “We at Esh Build are delighted to be delivering this important project for Middlesbrough College. At Esh Group, we are helping to provide future generations with the skills needed to achieve in the ‘world of work’ through a range of projects and schemes.
“For example, in the last academic year over 6,000 students at schools across the North East, Cumbria and Yorkshire benefitted from the Building My Skills programme, which is co-ordinated by the Esh Added Value team and delivered by Esh Group and its business partners.”