As we grow as College and as we continue to help our students grow, we are always working to help gain cutting edge tools and investment so that all our students can succeed in their field of choice. One of our big new courses starting in September is our Engineering T Level, which will allow 16- to 18-year-old students the chance to learn from industry experts through detailed work placement alongside their course.
Thanks to the Government's SDF Fund (Strategic Development Fund), we have secured funding to invest in our Engineering technology, as well as work together across the EKC Group to decarbonise the industry as a whole. With this funding, we have bought new CNC machines, turning and manual machines from XYZ Machines LTD. Phase 2 will include an Engineering Hub that will upon completion house all of our new equipment, allowing students to learn with up-to-date high quality tools in one place. (This will also include our robotic arm that we got delivered just before Christmas)
The first few machines (out of a total of 20) have already been delivered and are currently based at our Wotton Road campus. These were two turning centres, and two manual centre machines. Joining us in the future will be manual mills, lathes and other tools. Even though we have made this investment as part of our new build and to help develop our Engineering T Level, these machines will be available for all our students to use. We hope in the future that this investment will encourage more 19+ students to take up Engineering, whether that be with this or through any of our CAD courses that we currently offer.
Speaking about our new machines and investment, our Deputy Principal Alexandra Syrotiuk said: “The Ashford area was once a powerhouse of engineering and with new investment in the rail and other sectors it is being regenerated, particularly with growth and resourcing. We need to be in a position to provide the necessary skills that these businesses will need, and this investment will help us to achieve that. Having these machine tools and the facility they will be housed in will also be of great importance in highlighting what engineering is and the numerous career pathways that it can provide. As we progress with this centre of excellence we hope to be able to work closely with local industry partners to develop the best training opportunities for students.”