A COLLEGE’S new £6.2million state of the art innovation and technology centre aims to inspire young people into taking up careers in science and engineering to satisfy the demands of skills-hungry local employers.
The highlight of the official opening of the Milton Keynes College facility in Chaffron Way was a VIP appearance by land speed record holder Wing Commander Andy Green.
He brought along a 13metre model of the Bloodhound Super Sonic car in which he hopes to smash his own record and set an eye-wateringly fast 1,000mph mark in the deserts of South Africa in 2013.
Wing Cmdr Green spoke of a looming skills shortage in science and engineering and the need to have more students interested in technology and maths than psychology.
He said: “There is a global need for innovation and technology, which this new centre is going to help to deliver.
“The need to the next generation with the wonders of technology is at the heart of Bloodhound project.”
Dr Julie Mills, principal and chief executive of Milton Keynes College added: “It is our aim that the centre will be the focal point of engineering delivery in Milton Keynes and meet the needs of the city’s engineering, manufacturing and construction employers.”
The centre will enable the teaching of advanced design, prototyping, manufacturing and inspection, automation and control, renewable energy and hydraulics, alongside existing classes in engineering and construction.
The centre has been paid for by £1.5million from Milton Keynes Council, £4million from the college itself and £574,000 from central government.
There are 5,200 sq-m of facilities including workshops and bays for plumbing, gas training, welding, carpentry, 16 classrooms and two internal courtyard construction sites, including an area to build an entire two-storey house, which the students helped build.