@ProfBrianCox visited Teesside today (Monday) to see the extent of £20m investment that will transform the region’s technical skills. 

He said the investment by Middlesbrough College – which includes a new state-of-the-art Digital Centre and expansion of its industry-leading STEM centre – will put young people across the region at the “forefront of the new industrial revolution”.

The investment forms part of Middlesbrough College’s role in the North East Institute of Technology (IoT) – a collaboration between further education providers, universities and employers who are recognised as leaders in technical training.

PROFESSOR Brian Cox CBE added:

“Middlesbrough College is well ahead of the curve when it comes to delivering technical training and there’s a real understanding here of what industry needs.

“The opening of its STEM centre back in 2015 was ground-breaking and genuinely surpassed my expectations – so when I heard about the new plans, I had to come back and learn more.

“We need more apprentices and STEM graduates and facilities like this and the people here will be the driving force behind that – everyone will benefit from this investment.”

Staff and students welcomed the famous physicist to the £100m college campus, where he had the chance to speak with young aspiring scientists and engineers who are already benefiting from world class training in construction, engineering, manufacturing and supply chain industry skills.

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive, said:

“It’s incredibly humbling to welcome Professor Cox back to Middlesbrough College, seven years after he opened our £20m STEM training centre.

“Since then, the College has helped transform this region’s economic competitiveness and this new investment will enhance learning opportunities available to our students and equip them with the technical skills needed to secure high value jobs.”

Supporting its delivery of higher-level technical training, the £20m STEM training centre is being expanded to include a new Higher Education centre comprising 11,800 sq. ft of teaching space, IT facilities, learning resource centre and staff offices.

Construction is also well underway on the new multi-million-pound Digital Centre that will host industry-leading programming suites, cyber labs, video editing suites, a games design suite and a full TV and film studio.

Launching this autumn, the centre will deliver digital T Levels courses covering skills in games development, IT, computing networking, software programming, cyber security, digital video production and digital video production.

As part of its investment, the College is also launching MCClick, a new free laptop loan device scheme for students to help eradicate digital poverty, ensuring all of its students have equipment to support their studies. The scheme will help learners develop key digital skills to boost employability and support them in their future careers.

Also awaiting new students come September will be a state-of-the-art Construction Skills Workshop that will provide additional space both inside and out for construction students to hone their skills.

Having successfully trialled T Levels for the government, the College was formally chosen earlier this year to launch a full range of the two-year qualifications and is the only college in Tees Valley to deliver T Levels from September this year.

The new technically-focussed qualifications that have been developed with employers to equip learners with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.

Further works include refurbishing the College library to develop a new social space for students at the heart of the campus as well as opening a dedicated education space in Middlesbrough Town Centre to take learning into the community.

First look at Middlesbrough College expansion 

4 Aug 2020: PROFESSOR Brian Cox CBE will open the new @MBroCollege #STEM centre next year. 

A FIRST LOOK behind the scenes of a £2m expansion of Middlesbrough College’s STEM training centre has been revealed.

Construction is already underway to prepare a new Higher Education department that will support the College’s delivery of higher level technical training through the Institute of Technology, announced in June.

And the College will welcome back Professor Brian Cox to lead the opening.

Computer generated images show how 11,800 sq ft of teaching space, IT facilities, learning resource centre and staff offices will be added to the STEM centre at the College’s Middlehaven campus.

The new facilities are expected to be completed next year, ready to welcome learners studying programmes that will prepare them for careers in the engineering, manufacturing and the digital sectors.

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, said:

“Investment in our industry-leading campus means we can provide the best learning experiences for students.

“We’re excited to open this latest extension to the STEM training centre in preparation for our delivery of even more technical courses.

“Our role in the Institute of Technology, and as the only further education provider in the Tees Valley to deliver cutting edge T Levels, is all about providing high quality routes into work for young people and delivering the skills that employers need for the future.

“Come September, we’ll be inviting Tees Valley businesses to tour our facilities, talk with our expert staff and learn more about the opportunities available to them.”

The STEM centre, which was opened in September 2015 by celebrity physicist and science champion Professor Brian Cox, already hosts a range of real-life industry environments including a process hall, advanced manufacturing space and logistics centre.

Students benefit from these simulated industry sites – preparing them for jobs beyond college.

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