Following the Minister’s visit to Malvern Hills Science Park, business Minister Margot James MP opened the new North Worcestershire Engineering Centre of Excellence in Redditch on 23 January.
The Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility joined the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP in opening the new specialist engineering training facility, which is set to train up to 200 young apprentices over the next 4 years.
The new Engineering Centre of Excellence will be run by specialist training provider Midland Group Training Services (MGTS) and will provide a dedicated local facility to ensure that young people within the area can be trained to provide the engineering skills that local companies require.
The new £1.5 million facility has opened following a private and public sector collaboration with Midland Group Training Services (MGTS) investing £800,000 and both Worcestershire LEP and Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP investing £350,000 each through the Government’s Growth Deals. The North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration (NWedR) team worked with partners on behalf of Redditch Borough Council.
Margot James MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, commented: “Today the Government launched its Industrial Strategy which has a clear focus on maximising the particular expertise of the different areas of the UK and making sure we are driving growth across the whole country. The opening of the North Worcestershire Engineering Centre of Excellence is a great example of building on local strengths and it was a pleasure to see first-hand just what can be achieved when we place skills at the heart of local industry.”
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire LEP, said: “It was great to welcome Margot James MP back to Worcestershire to see more of the fantastic progress that we are making in the County as well as opening an exceptional engineering facility.
“Today we have been able to show the Minister more of the impact of our local Growth Deal funding which is enabling us to invest in developing the skills needed for the county’s future workforce and it was pleasing to hear of the Minister’s confidence in our plans moving forward.”
Andrew Cleaves, Board Director – Skills, Greater Birmingham and Solihull, said: “This is a fantastic example of how partnership working and the Local Enterprise Partnerships are supporting capital investment in the creation of additional local engineering skills provision. We look forward to working with MGTS in their support of skills and apprenticeships provision with local employers in North Worcestershire.”
Lee Weatherly, CEO of Midland Group Training Services (MGTS), said: “It was a privilege to have officially opened the North Worcestershire Engineering Centre of Excellence with Margot James MP. The Minister knows how important skills and apprenticeships are to small businesses and we are all very excited to be able to train the workforce of the future.”
Commenting on the news, Redditch Borough Council Leader Bill Hartnett said: “Redditch Council is dedicated to providing opportunities for apprentices as we believe we need to invest in the local talent we already have in the borough – beyond. This is great news and I am proud that this excellent facility is opening in Redditch.”
Photo (L to R): Cllr Joe Baker, Mayor of Redditch; Mark Stansfeld, Chair of Worcestershire LEP; Margot James MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility; Lee Weatherly, CEO of Midland Group Training Services and Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire LEP.