Engineering firm’s £3 million training school set to link up with Peterborough’s university

An engineering company that has won royal praise for its apprenticeship programme is in talks with Peterborough university chiefs over skills training.

By Paul Grinnell
Friday, 25th June 2021, 5:00 am
Princess Anne visiting Metalcraft at Chatteris in 2019.  EMN-190329-170259009
Princess Anne visiting Metalcraft at Chatteris in 2019. EMN-190329-170259009

Chatteris-based Stainless Metalcraft is to collaborate with ARU Peterborough which opens to students next year, on its higher level qualifications and the provision of practical skills.

News of the talks comes after Metalcraft secured the green light from Fenland District Council for the construction of a £3 million plus training school at its site off Honeysome Road.

The school will provide training across a range of vocational subjects for between 80 and 130 apprentices per year.

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Warwick Burt Construction is expected to begin work soon on the training school which should be completed next spring.

It will be funded through a £3.16 million grant from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

Metalcraft won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity last year in recogniton of the strength of its apprenticeship training programme and in tribute to its dedication to opening up career opportunities for local people, raising aspirations and increasing diversity in the sector.

A year earlier, Princess Anne had paid a special visit to the company to find out more about its work and commitment to apprenticeship training.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Stainless Metalcraft will be collaborating with the university on the higher level qualifications and provision of practical skills.”

Martin Lawrence, commercial director at Metalcraft, said: “We’re delighted that we have arrived at a suitable solution regarding access to the site and that planning permission has now been received.

“The plans for the training school have been warmly welcomed by the local community and we’re looking forward to bringing this exciting vision to reality.”

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “Developing a highly-skilled local workforce is a key part of the Combined Authority’s work to both attract investment to the area and create rewarding, long-term career opportunities for our young people.

“This grant funding will provide new generations of apprentices with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century economy in a part of our region with a strong and proud manufacturing and engineering tradition.

“I’m looking forward to working with them to help realise their vision for this important investment into Chatteris.”

North West Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay said: “As we deal with the economic consequences of a global pandemic, it is crucial that our local businesses have the skills they need to grow and thrive.

“The training centre will be a catalyst changing lives for the better and I’m delighted work is set to begin on the project.”