Braintree STEM Innovation Centre
The new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Centre has a key focus on working in partnership with local employers, with the aim of tackling growing skills shortages and enhancing apprenticeship delivery in Essex’s priority industry sectors. The centre will deliver engineering and manufacturing programmes in the Braintree District for the first time, providing a range of benefits to support local economic growth. With an estimated 44,000 new recruits likely to be required in construction-related roles across Essex by 2021 and 14,000 new houses set to be built in Braintree by 2033, there are an estimated 20,000 new jobs to be generated across the District. The delivery of training in STEM subjects is essential in order to meet urgent employer demand for skilled workforce.
The funding for the skills centre was supported predominately by South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP), after the College won a share of £22 million in Skills Capital Funding as well as a £980k match funding from Essex County Council. The College has also received generous sponsorship from Cadman Construction Ltd towards the new equipment in the Brickwork and Plumbing workshops.
The College has worked collaboratively with employers in the industry to create new courses and facilities, which cater for these skills gaps, including Welding and Fabrication, Engineering Processes and Manufacturing. The specific high-tech workshops are based on industry facilities, preparing students for the workplace. These large, open plan areas include three engineering workshops, two construction workshops and six classrooms with state-of-the-art facilities. These resources will enable students, apprentices and the wider community to engage in training opportunities within the engineering and technology areas.