College’s new engineering suite hopes to inspire ‘fantastic minds’ to ‘change the world for the better’

At the launch of Suffolk New College's engineering suite, l-r, Michael Gray from Suffolk County Coun

At the launch of Suffolk New College's engineering suite, l-r, Michael Gray from Suffolk County Council, Ipswich MP Sandy Martin, college principal Viv Gillespie and student Charles Jekenya. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk college is hoping to inspire the next generation of “fantastic engineering minds” to drive the UK’s economy.

Suffolk New College principal Viv Gillespie launches the new engineering suite. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW

Suffolk New College principal Viv Gillespie launches the new engineering suite. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE - Credit: Archant

Suffolk New college opened its new engineering suite on Thursday in a bid to create “work-ready” students to support manufacturers in the region.

The suite, made possible by a £140,000 grant from the New Anglia Skills Deal Programme, is hoped to help students gain higher qualifications, including advanced apprenticeships, as well as supporting businesses in “upskilling” staff.

College principal Viv Gillespie said: “We have invested in this scheme to help drive effective partnerships and increase our engineering numbers to support local businesses”. She said the UK has a “wonderful history” of producing “fantastic engineering minds” who can “really change the world for the better”. Therefore, we are thrilled to be opening this new engineering suite that will offer more opportunities to students living in this region,” she added. “We want to create work-ready individuals to help support the many manufacturing and engineering businesses in this county and country - and we would like to thank all of our partners for their support in making our ideas become a reality.”.

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin added: “Training and education is absolutely essential. Never more so than now. We need to enable young people to overcome the problems that they will meet in forthcoming careers. That is what education and training is all about. It’s not just teaching people exactly what to do, but also giving them the confidence and showing them how to solve a problem.”

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin watches as Suffolk New College student talks to chairman of governors Roger

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin watches as Suffolk New College student talks to chairman of governors Roger Fern. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE - Credit: Archant


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Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education, Gordon Jones, said: “The new facility is an exciting development and will enhance the engineering offer in the county.”

New Anglia LEP chairman Doug Field, added: “Facilities like this one are vital to provide our young people with the right opportunities and industry with the workforce they require to thrive.”

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Charles Jekenya, 17, who is taking a level two engineering course at the college, said: “The facilities are a so much better than school. They are a real upgrade and I cannot wait to use them. After my course I want to study on an apprenticeship pathway therefore the more skills I can gain, the better.”

Suffolk New College student Charles Jekenya tried out the new equipment as chairman of governors Rog

Suffolk New College student Charles Jekenya tried out the new equipment as chairman of governors Roger Fern and engineering lecturer Shak Liasu look on. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE - Credit: Archant

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