Lord Sainsbury meets apprentice engineers at James Watt College

Engineering apprentices from London Midland, Siemens PLC, DPD UK and Hydraforce Hydraulics invited Lord Sainsbury into their workshops at James Watt College for the afternoon.

The former science and innovation minister explored the college’s robotics, CADCAM and hydraulics workshops, witnessing welding, machining and computer-programming techniques by apprentices and students.  The learners then spent time over lunch talking to him about their training programmes and future ambitions.

Head of James Watt College, Kim Vaughan said: “The apprentices and students enjoyed showcasing the facilities and equipment they are using to develop specialist knowledge and technical skills in engineering, advanced manufacturing and sustainable green energies.  These are vital for work on many of the region’s building and infrastructure projects, including HS2.

Principal of James Watt College, Andrew Cleaves added: “Lord Sainsbury has always shown an interest in how college learners develop practical, technical skills for employment, so we were pleased to demonstrate how this is achieved.  We also showcased our successful delivery of training programmes to support local business needs.  These included our plans for new employer-led Apprenticeships and about how BMet is collaborating with local colleges and universities to build clearer progression routes to higher level skills.”

Lord Sainsbury also met plumbing, gas and electrical installation students in the Baxi Innovation Academy, media and games development students as well as touring the Samsung Digital Appliance Academy for white goods.  The visit tied in with the Association of Colleges’ (AoC) National Conference taking place this week at The ICC, Birmingham.