Manufacturers’ association EEF has opened a brand new Technology Hub in Aston, Birmingham, designed to enhance UK technical skills.
(Credit: Edward Moss)
The facility, which was opened by The Princess Royal, will aim to replicate real-life modern engineering and manufacturing workplaces. It will feature 280 IT stations, £1.3 million of equipment and tools, and specific areas dedicated to robotics, electronics and rapid prototyping. Together with EEF’s technology training centre – which opened in Aston in 2014 – the Technology Hub will train over 400 apprentices a year.
“This additional investment into our purpose-built technology training centre in the Midlands – the very heartland of UK manufacturing – demonstrates our commitment to industry and our support for first-class apprenticeship opportunities,” said Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF.
“The facilities we offer are designed to fully equip talented young people for the high demands of a challenging and rewarding career in modern manufacturing. This is further underscored by the high calibre of employers we work with, who trust us to train their apprentices and provide them with the valuable skills and technical prowess that will drive business innovation and growth.”
During her visit, The Princess Royal met a number of students who talked to her about their apprenticeships and the skills they are learning. Amongst these were 19-year-olds Hannah Clarke and Jack England, both first-year apprentices, who demonstrated the latest CAD packages being used at the centres.
“Meeting The Princess Royal was a great honour,” said Hannah. “I really enjoyed demonstrating some of the skills I’ve learnt as an apprentice and the cutting-edge technology we use in modern manufacturing today.”
“So much emphasis is still put on going to university, but what today has hopefully shown is that apprenticeships offer young people an equally valid route into an interesting and rewarding long-term career. Being an apprentice is hard work and demanding, but it’s really worthwhile knowing that I’m learning skills that employers really value.”