Photograph shows: Khalid Mahmood MP and Andrew Cleaves view a timeline, designed by students to mark the origin and development of sustainable energies over the last decade.
Khalid Mahmood, MP for Perry Barr officially opened Birmingham Metropolitan College’s (BMet) James Watt College, which has undergone a major refurbishment to make it the first choice for vocational education, serving North Birmingham and the surrounding area.
James Watt College specialises in skills for jobs in key growth industries including engineering and advanced manufacturing, the built environment (gas, plumbing, electrical), sustainable energies, hair, beauty and complementary therapies, health and social care, media and games development as well as exercise and fitness.
An £8.5 million investment was made to the college, of which £3 million was from the Skills Funding Agency and £500,000 from the Local Enterprise Partnership. This has created a new Student Centre and enhanced the teaching and learning spaces available to school leavers, apprentices and adult learners aiming to progress into employment or develop their careers further.
After touring the college and unveiling a commemorative plaque in the Student Centre, Mr Mahmood said: “This is an exceptional learning environment for the engineers and technicians, beauty specialists and also the designers and communications professionals of the future. The refurbishment proves that the college is doing all it can to bring skilled and qualified individuals directly to the employers in need of their talents.”
A Sustainability Centre was also unveiled at the launch of the new building.
As the first of its kind within a further education college environment, the Centre will provide employers with opportunities to upskill their staff through a suite of sustainable, green energy training programmes linked to heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
The new facilities complement the state of the art engineering and technology workshops, media and games studio spaces, salons, spa and gym areas that have been built at the college over the last seven years. They will ensure students receive training in the professional environments of their chosen industries.
Head of James Watt College, Kim Vaughan said: “The refurbished building fully supports the ethos of James Watt College, which is to inspire our students to fulfil their ambitions for employment or university progression.
“Our portfolio of job-focused vocational education courses has created additional learning opportunities to meet local demand in many of the region’s key industries. We are working more closely with neighbouring businesses and community organisations and responding more effectively to their training and recruitment needs.”
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