Demand for training leads to investment at college

Posted on 09 Mar 2019 and read 583 times
Demand for training leads to investment at collegeThe 2018/19 intake of over 200 students studying for BTEC and City & Guilds qualifications in engineering at South and City College Birmingham is strong evidence that the demand for young engineers with core skills remains high.

Since an engineering facility opened six years ago at the college, before relocating to its Bordesley Green campus, the number of students has grown year on year, quickly outgrowing the existing machining capacity.

This has led to significant investment, not only at Bordesley Green but also at its sister campus at Bournville.

The students at Bordesley Green are studying courses from BTEC through to City & Guilds Level 2 and Level 3, gaining hands-on experience in skills ranging from bench-work through basic machining to CNC and CAD.

The focus at Bournville is on all of the above, plus day-release school-age children between 14 and 16 years old.

Both campuses have a requirement for a mixture of manual trainer-lathes through to mills with DROs and CNC within the workshops.

Ian Partington, advanced engineering technician at the college, said: “When we first relocated to Bordesley Green, we had a limited number of machines.

"To expand, the department bought various new machine tools, including a turret mill and a surface grinder from XYZ Machine Tools (

"With the increased popularity of our engineering courses, we needed to invest further in machine capacity in order to give all the students a fair opportunity to acquire the skills necessary for industry.”

This requirement for new machinery was put out to tender, and XYZ was successful in winning the business.

As a result, the Bordesley Green campus now has 12 XYZ machines — a combination of manual trainer lathes, turret mills with DROs, a surface grinder, ProtoTrak-equipped SMX 2500 bed mills and an SLX 1630 ProTurn lathe.

A similar range of machines was installed at the Bournville campus.

Mr Partington said: “The mix of manual, DRO and ProtoTrak-controlled machines is ideal for our needs.

"The ProtoTrak system was a big influence in our final decision to go with XYZ, as it provides the perfect middle ground between manual and CNC and is ‘not too big a step up’ for students, as they progress.”

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