Items filtered by date: January 2017

The project was part funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP through Local Growth Funds

Peter Read, Chairman of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), today officially opened Newbury College’s brand new Engineering Solutions Lab. The new facility, fitted with leading technology, will enable the College’s engineering apprentices to research, design and develop components for their employers, whilst also benefitting students on full-time engineering programmes.

Part of the investment for the project came from a successful bid to Thames Valley Berkshire LEP for Local Growth Funds. The College received £333,333 from the LEP; the total cost of the facility was £1 million. The new facility will help address the needs of the local economy by raising the quality and profile of the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) provision in the area.

The Lab is comprised of two zones. The first contains electronic and electrical equipment, including CNC milling and turning machines, 3D printers and scanners and a 3D laser etching machine, to help design and develop innovative industry-approved engineering projects. The second zone is a fully functioning Computer Aided Design (CAD) area fitted out with design and drawing software packages such as AutoCAD and Inventor, and CNC software to connect to the machines in the other room.

Commenting on the new facility, Peter Read, Chairman of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, said: “I am delighted to open the new Engineering Solutions Lab at Newbury College today. Our Growth Deal set out to grow the STEM skills base in Berkshire, and this project is an excellent example of this being put into action.

“Whilst employers continue to place strong emphasis on STEM skills, the number of young people entering the workforce with these skills remains below demand. As a high proportion of businesses in the Thames Valley Berkshire (TVB) economy are knowledge-intensive and therefore require a continuing flow of STEM talent, it is vital that significant steps are taken to ensure the economic potential of TVB is not restricted by labour supply issues. The opening of the Engineering Solutions Lab today is a definite step in the right direction.”

Dr Anne Murdoch, Principal and Chief Executive of Newbury College, added: “We are grateful to everyone who joined us today for our opening ceremony, especially to Peter Read who performed the official unveiling. As well as providing career progression and business development opportunities to our apprentices and their employers, our new facility also gives full-time students on engineering courses the chance to develop their STEM skills and gain experience working with leading technology.

“Organisations already making use of the new facility include Blatchford, Progressive Technology, Williams F1 and Xtrac, and we encourage other local employers to also make use of the facility by getting in touch with us.”

Newbury College provides a range of further education engineering courses including Level 2 Computer Aided Design, Electrical Installation and Engineering, and Level 3 Electrical Installation and Engineering. Higher education courses include Electrical and Electronic Engineering HNC and HND Diplomas, Mechanical Engineering HNC and HND Diplomas. Click here for more information on the engineering courses available at Newbury College. For more images visit our Facebook page.

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Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, a division of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, is one of the UK’s leading contract hire and fleet management companies. Its history of providing funding for cars, HGVs and specialist vehicles spans over 30 years. Operating in a competitive, dynamic market, Hitachi Capital understands that its success is dependent on its employees and has continuously invested in its workforce to ensure customers get the expertise they need.

Embracing apprenticeships

Hitachi Capital uses a Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship Scheme to help train and nurture new employees. The company, currently on its second scheme, employs 11 young people based across its two offices in Newbury and Trowbridge.

Read the full case study here.


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Announced in 2015, the apprenticeship levy aims to fund three million new apprentices by 2020 and the new funding system will begin in May 2017.

Newbury College will offer levy-compliant apprenticeship training and work with employers to ensure they achieve maximum results, offering help and advice to all employers – both levy and non-levy payers.

Employers with a payroll bill of more than £3 million will pay the levy. If you are a levy payer it is important that you calculate your levy spend and ensure you take full advantage of this opportunity. Newbury College can work with you to identify your skills requirements and develop a programme to suit your business needs. In many cases those companies with existing programmes will need to expand them in order to recoup their levy. Now is the right time to begin this planning to maximise the potential for your business.

Employers not paying the levy will continue to make a contribution [typically 10%] to the cost of apprenticeship training, payable directly to the provider and the government will pay the rest (up to the maximum amount of government funding available for that apprenticeship).  Newbury College can work with you to identify your skills requirements and develop a programme to best suit your business needs.

Find out more at our next Business Breakfast

If you want to know more about the Apprenticeship Levy and how it will affect your business, come along to our Business Breakfast on 21 Feb or contact a member of the Business Team on 01635 845229 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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