Keighley College works with Local Employer for Women in Engineering Day

Gesipa Women in Engineering

A group of 18 girls aged 14-18 took part in an engineering information day at Gesipa Blind Riveting systems in Keighley as part of National Women in Engineering Day (23rd June). The event was organised through The Industrial Centre of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (ICE) based within Keighley College and was hosted by ICE Board Member and Gesipa Managing Director Diana Scholefield who as a highly qualified engineer herself is passionate about getting more girls into engineering.

Engineering is a growing sector in terms of employment and requires some 1.82 million new engineers by 2022. It also offers great opportunities for career progression and a diverse range of job roles, from technical sales, to research and design and manufacturing and there is often support from the employer for staff to progress academically. Jobs tend to be well paid typically ranging from £22,000 – £50,000 per annum and above. Despite this, only 10% of engineering employees are female, meaning that the sector is missing out on a huge amount of talent.

The day involved talks on the engineering industry and the careers available, a presentation on Gesipa and talks with some off the female engineers working there. The girls also took part in and engineering challenge and the day ended with a tour of the factory and a chance to look at some of the products that are made using the rivets manufactured by Gesipa including a Range Rover body shell. The girls also had opportunity to try their hand at riveting.

Caroline Ward 14-19 Deputy Head said ‘We need to make girls aware that engineering is a diverse industry with many different career opportunities many of them in clean and high tech environments’.

Informing young people of their career choices is a vital part of Keighley College’s strategy. If we are going to attract bright young people and particularly girls into the engineering sector we have to raise its profile and make both parents and children aware of the fantastic opportunities it offers.

ICE Shines at Keighley Buiness Awards


Keighley businesses enjoyed a successful fourth annual Keighley Business Awards dinner and presentation ceremony. The well attended occasion, compered by BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration, was staged in Victoria Hall on the evening of Friday 17th June.

The prestigious overall 2016 Business of the Year Award went to Keighley College client Acorn Stairlifts, which also picked up two individual category awards.

This year saw the inaugural Milner Awards for 1st Year Apprentices from the industrial Centre for Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering based within the College. The Milner Awards are sponsored by Keighley Training Consortium and are a tribute to Mick Milner, owner of Leach and Thompson Foundry, and founder of the Fab Lab Airedale. The awards had three categories, each with a cash prize, Best Academic Achievement £400, Best Skills Development £400 and Overall Achievement £1000. The winners were:

Best Skills Development – Matthew Bebb Best Academic Achievement – Connor Wignall Overall Achievement – James Thomason

The awards were presented by Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council and the winners were interviewed on stage by Harry Gration who was impressed by the maturity of their answers and their enthusiasm for their course.

It proved to be a very good year for Keighley College with apprentice Chloe Gunning from Rotherwood Recuitment also picking up the Apprentice/trainee of the Year.

During their acceptance speech Keighley Business Awards Manufacturing Business of the Year Byworth Boilers also heavily praised Engineering apprentices at Keighley College and citing the value of an apprenticeship and the importance of getting young women into engineering.

For the fourth year running, the glitzy awards themselves were all designed and manufactured by Fab Lab Airedale based within Keighley College.

Keighley College Offers Coded Welder Training

Coded pic

Keighley College has now received accreditation from the Welding Institute (TWI – to run codded welding at Keighley. TWI are widely regarded as the best in the World in their field and are recognised by many of the largest engineering companies. This is all about higher level skills and was driven by the employer board of the College’s Industrial Centre of Excellence.

Successful accreditation has involved investment in training for the staff and a very thorough audit and the College are delighted to have passed. This accreditation will allow the College to deliver welder training and certification to BS EN287 and BS 48752 in addition to Welding Procedures and Welding Inspector training. Many fabrication companies report that their clients are demanding that welder are coded and it is also a pre-requisite for fabrication companies who are wishing to be ISO accredited, so a real example of the college responding to employer needs.

Keighley College currently has 15 welding bays offering Mig, Tig, Stick and Manual Metal Arc, Oxy-Acetylene cutting & welding, Brazing and Soldering. The facility is fast requiring a national reputation with students coming from as far away as Suffolk and demand is such that plans are afoot to increase the size facility over the coming year. The department has recently begun to take on some commercial fabrication work, allowing students to work on real jobs, giving them a better understanding of quality, cost and delivery and in effect creating work experience while still within the college.



Keighley College Gains Coveted iMechE Accreditation

iMechE 2

We are delighted to announce that  Keighley College has now received accreditation from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (iMechE) for our Engineering Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme run through our Industrial Centre of Excellence. This followed a strict audit by iMechE and means that the centre is one of a select group of training organisations who’s students get free access to a range of support including:

  • Supported access to the world’s largest engineering library sited at  Institute of Mechanical Engineers
  • Bursaries and other financial support
  • Opportunities to attend free engineering events and talks
  • Newsletters featuring the latest developments in the sector

One of the key benefits to the College being approved by iMechE is that all students coming through the course will be able to fill in a short application form to become professionally registered as EngTech. This simple process can make all the difference  to an engineer’s career with many major employers such as BAE, the MOD and Rolls Royce insisting that all staff are professionally registered and often using this as a criteria when filtering job applicants. In short this will help our students stand out from the crowd and demonstrates our continued commitment to the success of our apprentices and demonstrates the quality of our training provision to students and employers.

Engineers of the Future Visit Advanced Actuators


Over 25 potential young engineers and their parents attended the recent factory open evening an Advanced Actuators. They were given a full site tour, looking at hydraulics and electronc controls systems devloped by this highly successful business followed by a presentation about the company and working demonstrations of some of the equipment that company manufactures. More fac tory open evenings are planned for the near future.

A Look Behind the Scenes at Byworth Boilers



The board managing the Industrial Centre of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering based in Keighley College is delighted to offer a series of Factory Open Evenings where young people and their parents and carers will have a rare opportunity a look behind the scenes at some of the areas’ most successful manufacturing companies. The tours will allow people to see what working in a modern manufacturing plant is like and offer them the opportunity to ask questions about working in this diverse and exciting sector. The next open evening is to be held at Bywoth Boilers Parkwood Boiler Works, Parkwood Street, Keighley BD21 4NW on the 29th January between 4.00pm and 6.00pm and all are welcome. Byworth Boilers have an established history of employing apprentices are continuously looking for young people to fulfil these roles.

Many manufacturing and engineering companies offer excellent salaries once qualified and will support staff in developing both practically and academically. The engineering sector needs some 1.8 million new employees by 2020 and there really has never been a better time to investigate this area as a career option and a genuine alternative to the traditional routes to university.

To book your place on any of the tours e mail

2016 Factory Open Evenings


The Board of the Industrial Centre of Excellence are delighted to announce a 2016 programme of Factory Open Evenings where young people and the parents and guardians can see behind the scenes at some of the areas leading manufacturers. The dates for these events are as follows:

Byworth Boilers – 29th January 2016
Gesipa – 3rd March 2016
Advanced Actuators – 28th April 2016

All events run between 16.00 – 18.00

To book your place contact

Keighley MP Invites Local Exporters to Shine

A contest has been launched to identify the best exporter in Keighley and Ilkley.

MP Kris Hopkins is calling for nominations from businesses making products in the constituency and sold beyond British borders, with a particular focus on the manufacturing and creative industries.

All entries will also be automatically forwarded for inclusion in a national campaign promoted by Exported by Britain, and featured on an interactive map of nominations from across the country.

Exported by Britain is an initiative run by the All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG) and the All-Party Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group (APDIG).

Chris Stott, business manager at Leeds City College, said: “There is a wide gamut of highly successful and innovative manufacturing companies in Keighley and Ilkley producing everything from high tech boilers to components for the Euro Fighter.

“The skills of these businesses are in demand around the world resulting in many Keighley and Ilkley companies exporting a large proportion of their product – some as much as 90 per cent.

“Many cars for example, contain components that have been made here, no matter what country the vehicle is assembled in. These companies often go unnoticed and their success uncelebrated.Kris Hopkins Export Comp

“From an educational perspective we need to raise the profile of our vibrant manufacturing sector to help attract bright young people into apprenticeships to continue to sustain the skills and to support its continued growth.”

Nominations close on Friday October 30, with the winner being announced in spring 2016 at Mr Hopkins’ second annual careers fair which will be held at the Keighley Campus of Leeds City College.

Companies should e-mail if they wish to submit a nomination.

ICE Board Factory Open Evenings


The Board who manage the Industrial Centre of Excellence based at Keighley Campus are opening up the doors to their factories for a series of open evenings. There will be full factory tours and opportunities to ask staff about their jobs. This is a unique opportunity for young people interested in a career in engineering to come along and see the clean and high tech world of modern engineering and to look behind the scenes of some of the best of the Aire Valley’s manufacturers.

The open evenings begin in October 2015 with Airedale Springs of Haworth who have some of the latest and most sophisticated computer driven machinery in their purpose built state of the art factory.

Details are:

Airedale Springs Ltd The Spring Works, Bridgehouse Lane, Haworth, BD22 8PA – Thursday 15th October 16.00 -18.00

Byworth Boilers Ltd Parkwood St, Keighley,  BD21 4NW – 29th January 2016 16.00 – 18.00

Gesipa Ltd Dalton Lane, Keighley, BD21 4JU – 3rd March 2016 16.00 – 18.00

Advanced Actuators Ltd Unit 4, Ryefield Way, Silsden, West Yorkshire, BD20 0EF 28th April 2016 16.00 – 18.00

Everyone is welcome and the last tour will begin at 17.30 in all cases. To book your place email or call Chris Stott on 07825 058 223

Promotional Video

This video shows interviews with partner schools, Centre of Industrial Excellence board members and tutors and students accessing the facilities explaining why they are involved and what they are gaining from their involvement in this highly innovative development in engineering training.