Star unveils improved College facilities

Former Tomorrow’s World presenter, Kate Bellingham, urged more young people to take up engineering yesterday, as she officially opened Shrewsbury College’s new £3 million Engineering and Construction Centre at London Road.

The broadcaster, best known for presenting the BBC programme, encouraged pupils from secondary schools to consider the career during a talk at the College. More than 60 school pupils from Abraham Darby, Hadley Learning Centre, Mary Webb, Meole Brace and Rhyn Park attended the event, where they were able to take part in one of five taster workshops in Carpentry and Joinery, Motor Vehicle, Welding, Electronics or 3D Design.

The College completed an overhaul of its technology block in the autumn. The new facility includes five classrooms, two laboratories, an engineering workshop, an industry standard motor vehicle workshop, a machine shop for Carpentry & Joinery students and an open air sculpture studio.

Ms Bellingham, who is also an electrical engineer, said: “It is really great that the College has re-vitalised the building. Hopefully it will encourage more young people to consider their options with the College and a career in engineering or construction.”

“We need more people going into these industries, especially girls. We need to make sure women feel welcome and a facility like this helps with that.”

The centre was officially opened on 8 February to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week 2012. As part of the festivities the College also held a prize draw for pupils who took part on the day, with Becci Lewis from Mary Webb School scooping a £25 iTunes voucher.

Principal of the College, Greg Molan, said: “It was great to have Kate here as a woman who has had a very successful engineering career. She is very motivated about bringing women into careers in technical areas.”

College bosses recently announced that a further £6 million would be spent to continue improvements at the London Road campus.

See Kate Bellingham's blog entry about her day here.
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