Organisation: South & City College Birmingham (SCCB)
Location: Bordesley Green, Birmingham
Project: Investment in SCCB’s automotive skills and infrastructure capacity to upgrade existing buildings and equipment, and to match the current supply chain facilities for automotive maintenance and repair.
Value of Funding: £242,000 of Local Growth Funding
Total project cost: £677,000
Project dates: September 2015 – June 2018
Mike Hopkins, Principal of South & City College Birmingham, said:
“Students, Apprentices and Businesses within Birmingham have benefited over the last few years from the development of the Motor Vehicle Centre for Advanced Automotive Skills at Bordesley Green which was part-funded by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).
“The centre provides significant training and support for the current and future workforce connected with the automotive industry in Birmingham, and in addition, has been very successful in helping the creation of a number of new businesses by students who have graduated.
“The level of investment in this facility could not have been achieved without the support of the GBSLEP and it is an excellent example of the foresight there has been to support the economy of the region.”
Chris Loughran, Deputy Chair of GBSLEP, said:
“More than 45 per cent of the UK’s research and development into automotive manufacturing and engineering is carried out in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, so investing in this growth sector is a high priority for the LEP.
“The Motor Vehicle Centre at South & City College Birmingham provides the area with a high-quality learning space that has state-of-the-art equipment, providing graduates with the opportunity to bring their skills up to industry standard by the time they leave college.
“While the Centre is on track to create new jobs and apprentices, the project also safeguards a number of existing jobs – and with the sector employing more than 36,000 people in the LEP area – doing so is vital to our thriving economy.”
The automotive manufacturing industry in the GBS area is a key contributor to the regional economy, with Jaguar Land Rover being one of UK’s leading car and engine manufacturers. However, the local industry has experienced a skills shortage for some time.
In response to the need for high-quality training programmes in this sector, SCCB established the Motor Vehicle Centre for Advanced Automotive Training and Skills. The Centre offers access to state-of-the-art equipment and education, to match current supply chain facilities for automotive maintenance and repair.
The project supports the LEP’s economic and skills priorities by upskilling the local community and providing a pathway into apprenticeships, ensuring that there is a fully equipped regional talent pool available to local automotive firms.
GBSLEP awarded £258,000 to SCCB to create the Motor Vehicle Centre for Advanced Automotive Skills by refurbishing the existing construction centre at the Bordesley Green site and procuring high quality equipment.
In addition to training provision, the Centre enabled SCCB to develop new apprenticeship programmes and to engage with SMEs in order to create a culture where training is seen as an integral part of the business process.
SCCB met or exceeded most of the objectives it was set by GBSLEP:
SCCB is planning to expand its portfolio to provide more apprenticeships, enabling it to offer higher level certifications. It is also on track to deliver its other key objectives:
• Safeguard 50 SME jobs in the motor vehicle and advanced automotive industry (building on 30 safeguarded so far, with further 90 forecast by 2020)
• Support an additional 80 trainees (building on 32 already assisted, with further 468 forecast by 2020).