A MULTI-MILLION pound engineering block which will help train the next generation of skilled workers is starting to take shape at a North-East college.
Darlington College’s principal Kate Roe showed officials the new steelwork of the two-storey facility which is being constructed thanks to a £2.69m grant from Darlington Borough Council’s Town Fund.
Steels have just been erected on the workshop site behind existing facilities at the college campus off Haughton Road. The ground floor will feature two advanced engineering workshops with classrooms upstairs.
Expected to open in the New Year, they will allow the college to develop further its engineering courses, which range from the new T-level, up to level 5 and higher education qualifications such as HNDs and HNCs. These qualifications can be used to access apprenticeships and degree courses.
The college is also planning to use its facilities to develop learning around the fast-growing sector of electric vehicles with the installation of training rigs. The new facility will also link courses into the recently developed robotics hub which is now open on campus.
Ms Roe said: “This investment has given a huge boost to the engineering side of the college at a time when demand is growing for a range of expertise. It has given us an important opportunity to expand to meet the needs of employers in the region for a skilled and highly motivated workforce.”
Coun Marshall, who studied at Darlington College and has an engineering background, said: “These facilities will go a long way to help students find apprenticeships and employment or progress into higher education. They will also help adults and young people improve their skills to boost their prospects further and get into better jobs in the local area
“There are a lot of young people who are very able and have great dexterity, but are not inclined to an academic route at college. We shouldn’t be leaving them behind and I am passionate about helping them all by putting them in a learning environment where they can rise to the challenges presented.”