Construction starts on Chatteris-based Metalcraft’s multi-million pound apprentice training school

Work has begun on a multi-million pound training centre for a leading engineering company.

By Paul Grinnell
Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 4:59 am
From left Cllr Chris Boden, leader of Fenland District Council, Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire, Martin Lawrence, Commercial Director, Stainless Metalcraft, and Mayor Dr Nik Johnson.

The £3.16 million apprentice training school is being built at the site of Queen’s Award- winning Stainless Metalcraft of Chatteris Business Park, in Honeysome Road, Chatteris.

A ceremony to mark the start of construction was attended by the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Dr Nik Johnson and North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay with Martin Lawrence, commercial director of Stainless Metalcraft.

Funds for the centre, which should be completed next year, have come from a Local Growth Fund grant through the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board.

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Between 80 and 130 apprentices are expected to attend the facility each year to study a range of vocational subjects that will equip them with the skills to work in the local economy and help businesses meet their skills needs.

A provider to deliver the training at the school has still to be announced.

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson said: “It was fantastic to see the start of works for a training school which will bring benefits to Chatteris and the region for years to come.

“If we want to tackle disadvantage and support a more equal, fair recovery from Covid-19 then we can’t do much better than invest in the future of our young people by providing places whether they can get the skills they need to thrive.

“There is already a fine manufacturing and engineering heritage in this region, exemplified by Stainless Metalcraft, and this centre will help one of the Combined Authority’s priority industry sectors continue to thrive into the 21st century.”

Mr Lawrence said: “We’re delighted work is now underway on the training school.

“Our apprenticeship programme has provided training for local people for more than 100 years and half our senior management team began their own careers as apprentices.

“As recipients of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Creating Opportunity through Social Mobility, we’re committed to creating rewarding, long-term careers in the local area and this new training school will play a key part in realising that vision.”

Mr Barclay MP said: “Well done to Stainless Metalcraft. This milestone is a great tribute to everyone in their team.

“The key to levelling up is skills and that’s what this is about.”

Nitin Patel, member of the Business Board, said: “I’m delighted that this project backed by the Business Board has moved to another key milestone.

“We’re here to invest in our industry, and invest in people to help them into good jobs most demanded in the local economy.

“This is just the start of a broader vision for Chatteris to be at the centre of an innovation boom in advanced manufacturing in this region over the coming decades.”