The new centre will be home to specialist science and technology workshops with dedicated facilities that will include a class 10,000 clean room, Digital 3D imagery equipment, nanotechnology, microscopes, specialist chemicals and fab labs where budding product designers and entrepreneurs can access the latest in digital fabrication equipment for prototyping.
Principal and chief executive of Northumberland College, Marcus Clinton said: "This is a very exciting time for the College and we are very pleased to have appointed Esh Build as the contractors for our STEM Centre who have worked on many major projects around the north.
"The development of this building is very good news for us and for Northumberland, following on from an exceptionally successful year of achievements and outcomes for students."
"There are skills shortages within science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) so we will be adding new courses that are designed with feedback from employers and cover fabrication, processing, IT and digital, robotics and hydraulics, this training will benefit our students and the local economy."
Northumberland College is not the only North East organisation addressing the region’s STEM skills gap. Primary Engineer is a not-for-profit organisation which was set up in 2005 by Susan Scurlock, to encourage young people to consider careers in STEM related professions.
She said: "My father wouldn’t let me be an engineer because I was a girl. At the time I was at school you weren’t allowed to take tech drawing because it was a boys only subject. So, I couldn’t be an engineer, so this is my revenge.
"In 2005 there was a call from the then Department for Trade and Industry to get more engineers coming through the ranks and at the time we felt we had the answer which was to train primary teachers how to teach practical design technology, maths and science and then you’ve got your engineers.’’
North East LEP Board Member David Land said: "Access to training and skills is fundamental to delivering our vision of creating more and better jobs for the North East.
"It's fantastic to see this project come to life; people from across the North East will be able to access training that meets a genuine need in the labour market, and we're pleased to see it underway."
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