First engineering apprentices finish course

The first cohort of engineering apprentices studying at Weston College’s new engineering centre are celebrating after successfully finishing their first year of training.

The students, who include apprentices from major engineering companies GKN Aerospace and Ipeco Composites, will now go on to work in their respective companies, returning once a week to complete their technology programmes, before being given the opportunity to progress on to an HNC or Foundation Degree at the College.

James, 16, who is employed by TJW Precision Engineering, a subcontractor of GKN, travels by train to the College from Dursley, staying in Weston during the week. He said: “The workshops here are really impressive; we all started with the basics and have moved on incredibly fast to be really advanced in our first year of engineering.

“It is really enjoyable studying here and it has given me a better understanding of the principles behind engineering. It has really been worth the journey and I wouldn’t be in the strong position I am in today without Weston College.”

Ross Hawkins, Curriculum Lead for Engineering, said: “This has been an exciting first year for us, and our first group of apprentices has successfully completed their initial qualifications for their apprenticeship.

“We have now established engineering apprenticeships in manufacturing and machining, aircraft fitting and fabrication, maintenance, electrical and electronics and composites technology.

“Alongside this we have now established our partnership with the University of the West of England to deliver a Foundation Degree in Aircraft Manufacture. These are exciting times for any student wanting to come and study engineering at Weston College.”

Engineering is a rapidly expanding area of provision at Weston College, after it opened its £2.5 million engineering centre in September last year. September 2016 will see the opening of the brand new Future Technology Centre offering extended facilities for Computing, programming and IT, and Civil Engineering with its new lab for soils, concrete and structures testing.

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