The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) launched its new Engineering Workshop at its Enfield Centre in Ponders End yesterday (Tuesday, 17 May 2016). Hosted by the North London Chamber of Commerce (NLCC) and sponsored by Bayleigh International, the high profile event was attended by leading international engineering firms, including Siemens, Kelvin Hughes and Johnson Matthey.
The state-of-the-art engineering facility contains industry standard machining equipment and is in addition to the £17 million CONEL has already invested at its Enfield Centre in the last six years.
CONEL Principal, Andy Forbes, opened the high-profile event with a warm welcome and Huw Jones of the North London Chamber of Commerce (NLCC) spoke about the importance of the occasion. Huw introduced guest speakers Barry Connelly of Johnson Matthey, Margaret Bundy of Kelvin Hughes, Ben Wardle of Siemens and Rob Leak, the Chief Executive of Enfield Council. Each speaker highlighted the significant skills shortage in engineering and the lack of young people choosing engineering careers.
Huw Jones (NLCC) said: “This great local facility is much needed and the Chamber will support it and promote it as widely as possible. “
Work began on the engineering workshop facility in in December 2015; was completed in February 2016 and the workshop is now fully operational and in daily use by students. The College has introduced a range of new engineering courses and apprenticeships, working with top employers to help to meet the needs of students, apprentices, employers and the future economy of London and the Lea Valley.
Siemen’s Ben Wardle, said: “This is a first class facility designed to develop innovation and the engineers of tomorrow.”
Margaret Bundy of Kelvin Hughes described her firm’s 300 year history, which in recent years relocated to Enfield.
Rob Leak, Enfield Council’s CEO, said: “Attracting engineering companies into Enfield to provide jobs, and training facilities such as this one will enable young people to stay and work in Enfield. They will become the people who go on to work as volunteers, as school governors and live as good neighbours and good friends, the people who will keep our local community strong.”
College Principal and Chief Executive, Andy Forbes, said: “Engineering employers of all shapes and sizes are crying out for good young recruits and offering very well paid jobs. An Engineering course or apprenticeship is therefore a great career option for young people.
“We’re proud to have worked closely with representatives of London’s Engineering industry to design and install this top-quality new facility, which will be open to local schools as well as our own students.”
Currently, the engineering industry employs £5.4 million people in the UK and there will be an expected 2.56 million job openings in engineering companies up to 2022 (source: Engineering UK 2015).