Advance Manufacturing and Engineering Training Returns to Keighley

Advance Manufacturing and Engineering Training Returns to Keighley

THE creation of an Industrial Centre of Excellence in Keighley is aiming to develop a skilled workforce of young people to help the rapidly expanding engineering and manufacturing base.

Leeds City College’s Keighley Campus, in conjunction with Oakbank School, has been working with Bradford City Council to develop an Industrial Centre of Excellence (ICE) for Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering (Creative & Digital Technologies), to be known as CE:AME.

Working alongside and in conjunction with key local employers, the ICE will provide education and training opportunities to prepare young people to progress into the growing engineering and manufacturing economy.

The centre will be based in the College campus, in Bradford Road. Work is currently underway on the fully fitted on-site workshop which will include high quality industry standard Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machinery, lathes, milling machines, workbenches and other innovative engineering equipment to develop and support the skills required for engineers of the future.

It is one of a number of ICEs being funded by Bradford Council, which is looking to develop centres in each of the priority economic sectors identified in its Employment and Skills Strategy.

The innovative approach of bringing together educational and business partners will put businesses at the heart of helping to shape education delivery, with the aims of improving entry into key sectors and improving opportunities and skill levels for 14-19 year olds, while looking to meet the increasing demand for a highly competitive workforce from employers.

The CE:AME will provide education and training opportunities for full-time learners, with new qualifications – Level 2 qualification in Performing Engineering Operations and Level 3 BTEC Certificate in Engineering – offered at the campus. It will also engage more young people in apprenticeships which offer progression onto higher level skills and into employment.

The introduction of these new courses complements work being done at Oakbank School, where a group of year 10 pupils have been studying GCSE Engineering at Keighley Campus with three more groups starting this month (September). Plans also include the development of additional programmes around 3D printing and 3D modelling, along with electronics and creative media.

The ICE has been developed in conjunction with a number of employers with more required to support the initiative. It is anticipated that employers will not only contribute by providing work experience opportunities but also real life project scenarios to help young people to better prepare for the world of work. Employers will have the opportunity to shape the future of young learners by providing ‘master classes’, offering mentoring opportunities and providing site visits.

Leeds City College Senior Deputy Principal David Harwood said: “We are delighted to be opening the Industrial Centre of Excellence in Keighley, working alongside key local stakeholders to provide specialist skills and opportunities for young people.”

“The long term plans are to entice high achieving young people and, with the support of industry, provide them with the problem solving skills and technical attributes which the engineering sector needs.”

Coun Ralph Berry, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, said: “Industrial Centres of Excellence form an important part of our plans to Get Bradford Working. They are a very innovative way in which we can match education with the economic needs of our district. The Council has taken a strong lead in bringing education and business together to do this.”

“The new Centre of Excellence in Keighley will offer young people and exciting new way of developing their skills and learning.”

Get Bradford Working is an employment and skills investment programme for the District including: a job creation fund; an Apprenticeship Training Agency; a Routes into Work scheme; and advanced skills. The Council has invested over £10m into this unique scheme, which in partnership with other agencies aims to deliver over 700 new jobs, over 500 new apprenticeships, 1,500 school places linked to business, and support disadvantaged groups into work.

The College would like to hear from local employers and businesses which would like to get involved with the ICE or would like further information. Please contact Business Operations Manager Chris Stott at

Any young people interested in enrolling on a programme, either as  full time learner or as an apprentice, or employers interested in recruiting an engineering apprentice, please contact the College Contact Centre on 0113 3861997.