On Wednesday 12th May 2010, the Fenland Engineering Skills Centre (FESC) was officially opened by Councillor Alan Melton, Leader of Fenland District council along with Councillor Florence Newell, and Roger McDowell, Chairman of Avingtrans plc, Metalcrafts parent company.
The event was extremely well supported, more than 40 personnel from local government, funding partners, local schools, supporters, suppliers and customers, joined Metalcraft to perform the official opening ceremony.
Councillor Alan Melton commented ‘I am proud to have been asked to open this Centre in my home town and delighted to see this investment realised. It is my wish that every Fenland town can develop similar facilities to develop young talent throughout the area. Centres of excellence such as FESC are essential to our investment in young people which will ensure continued growth and prosperity of the Fenland district.’
The centre has been funded by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and Fenland District Council (FDC) with match funding from Metalcraft and the Fenland (14-19) Partnership.
FESC is seen by Metalcraft as one of the key elements of a long term strategy for people development providing a stream of young skilled engineers who will ensure that Metalcraft continue to compete in the manufacture of high quality, safety critical equipment for the markets they serve.
The modern workshop is fully equipped# covering both fabrication and machining skills which are the essential building blocks for manufacturing, along with computer aided design / manufacture (CAD / CAM) capabilities all housed within the 150m2 facility.
The aim of the centre is to promote Engineering and develop opportunities for young people in engineering within the Fenland area. In addition to the benefits to Apprentice training, a total of seven local schools and collegesł will be supported by the project giving young people from Year 9 upward access to hands on manufacturing in a safe environment.
Commenting on the development Peter Kenny, Managing Director at Metalcraft stated “I am extremely keen to see young people attracted into the industry and the FESC will be a tremendous help. We are delighted that both EEDA and FDC selected Metalcraft for this new centre. Metalcraft have a proud tradition of developing our own skilled personnel over the years and the FESC will provide a significant boost in our efforts to improve our businesses skill base in the longer term.”
# Machines and equipment have been supplied by HAAS, ISCAR, Cromwell Tools, Q8 Oils & ESAB
ł Schools and colleges that are supported by the project:-
· Cromwell Community College in Chatteris
· Neale Wade Community College in March
· Sir Harry Smith Community College in Whittlesey
· Thomas Clarkson Community College in Wisbech
· Fenland Junction (a pupil referral unit) in March
· Meadowgate Special School in Wisbech
· College of West Anglia (FE College) in Wisbech