Chatteris engineering company to build multi-million pound apprentice training school

A leading engineering company is to build a training school after securing a £3.16 million grant.

By Paul Grinnell
Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 9:09 am
An aerial view of the Stainless Metalcraft site at Chatteris.
An aerial view of the Stainless Metalcraft site at Chatteris.

Queen’s Award-winning Stainless Metalcraft, based in Chatteris, will build the new facility to provide vocational training for between 80 and 130 apprentices per year.

The funding for the venture will be provided by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Local Growth Fund.

The training school will be built on Metalcraft’s Chatteris site.

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Apprentices at work at Stainless Metalcraft. Picture by Terry Harris.

It will offer training programmes covering a range of vocational subjects, with the training school being run by a specialist provider, which will be appointed through a public tender process.

Construction of the school is expected to begin before the end of the year and it is hoped it will be completed by the end of 2021.

Martin Lawrence, commercial director at Metalcraft, said: “We’re really pleased to have signed this funding contract with the combined authority.

“When we launched the Fenland Engineering Skills Centre 10 years ago, it met a real need for our business, helping stave off a looming skills crisis and reduce the average age profile of our workforce by 10 years.

“Creating opportunities for young people to develop the skills they need to embark on long-term, rewarding careers is a key part of our ethos and, through the development of this new centre, we are excited to play our part in extending this opportunity to a greater number of people across a wider range of subject areas.”

James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “It has long been my aim bring a different approach to adult education, and focus on the needs of local people and our local economy.

“The vocational training school Metalcraft is building will provide a fantastic, state-of-the-art facility for local people to develop the skills and experience they need to secure sustainable, rewarding employment.

“With its long history of investing in local people - as evidenced by its recent Queens’ Award for Enterprise and Princess Royal Training Award - Metalcraft is the perfect partner for this project and we’re looking forward to working closely with the team, and a number of other local partners, to bring their vision to life.”

Metalcraft has worked with a number of local organisations to bring the plans to fruition, including The Active Learning Trust, MAKE UK, Cambs Skills and the University of Cambridge.