The new engineering centre was officially opened by appointed CBE, Cecil Duckworth. Cecil has had an impressive career in engineering, including starting Worcester Engineering Company Limited in 1962, introducing the first combination boilers in 1970 and working with the Bosch Group, where he remained with the company until his retirement in 1996.
However, it was at the former Worcester College of Technology, now HoW College, where Cecil received his initial training for the industry after securing an apprenticeship in 1958. It therefore seemed only fitting for him to open the new centre where future engineers will begin their training.
The Duckworth Centre of Engineering will be used as a training centre for the College’s automotive, plumbing & heating engineering students; with dedicated workshops and classrooms on site.
The 15,000 square foot unit allows HoW College, alongside its local employers and partners, to expand its provision in areas, such as automotive, where both local and national demand is growing. The building has been fitted out with mezzanine flooring and automotive, plumbing & heating workshops.
Deputy Chief Executive and Vice Principal, Corporate and Resources, Nicki Williams, said: “A new state-of-the-art engineering centre supported by WLEP has been developed to support increased demand from employers to tackle a shortage of engineering skills in the area.
“Investment in this automotive and plumbing & heating engineering centre at HoW College demonstrates our commitment to improving skills and training for our learners and apprentices, which is central to boosting economic growth across the county.
“We are delighted to be located alongside Fortis and look forward to strengthening our links with employers following the launch of our new centre.”
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership invested a total of £4,010,000 of the Government’s Local Growth Fund into the relocation and development of the facility.
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are proud to have been able to support such a fantastic new facility. It was a pleasure to have joined so many people from the business community to tour the new centre and it’s obvious that the facility will be able to inspire and upskill a vast amount of the county’s future workforce, in a fantastic learning environment.”
HoW College offers a wide range of automotive and engineering courses suitable for all ages and abilities; as well as a number of apprenticeships including Engineering Operative and Infrastructure Technician.
To find out more about studying at HoW College visit: howcollege.ac.uk