The official opening took place during a special ceremony on Friday (March 13).
Opening the new suite, Sir Edward said: “We’re going to grow talent here. Apprenticeships are really important. I hope we can build here now, a new apprenticeship model that sees learners spending four days a week at college and one day in the workplace in year one. This gets the apprentices work ready and safe.
“Despite only one day a week in the workplace, the apprentices are being paid a fulltime apprenticeship wage. In year two this flips to four days a week in the workplace and one day at college. It’s a very good scheme and I am very happy to open it.”
Made in Gainsborough was developed and funded by the Lincolnshire College Group and its partners and included match-funding by the Local Enterprise Partnership and West Lindsey District Council.
Amanda Bouttell, Senior Project and Growth Officer, Employment and Skills at West Lindsey District Council, has been working closely with employers and Gainsborough College as part of the Made in Gainsborough Group.
She said: “Engineering continues to be a key sector for employment within West Lindsey and in Gainsborough in particular. We’ve backed the Made in Gainsborough concept from the outset and we’re confident that the additional funding from the Council towards Phase 2 will enable more students to access courses and Apprenticeships within the sector.
“The number of employers that are on board has grown, which is a testament to the programme and the partnership. It is reassuring to see the Made in Gainsborough Group continue to evolve.”
Courses available through Made in Gainsborough include Mechanical Engineering; Manufacturing Engineering; Fabrication and Welding; and Mechanical and Electrical maintenance.
Graham Harrison, Group Director - IT & Projects at The Lincoln College Group, said: “Our goal when we set out to develop the Made in Gainsborough training programme, was to help produce a highly skilled workforce that will meet the demand and needs of local employers and one which will ultimately drive the local economy forward.
“This new Welding and Fabrication Suite at Gainsborough College is the latest training workshop under the Made in Gainsborough programme and we are delighted to see it launched and become part of our varied, employer-led, training programmes available through our Lincoln, Newark and Gainsborough campuses.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our partners in helping to establish Made in Gainsborough and to celebrate the achievement of our amazing apprentices.”
For more information on Made in Gainsborough, visit https://www.lincolncollege.ac.uk/search/courses?cf_courses_career_choice=14877