Graham Stuart, Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness and Chair of the Education Select Committee, unveiled three new state-of-the-art facilities at Bishop Burton College today.
More than £5.5m has been invested in the new facilities including the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Centre, the Humber Energy Centre and the Technology and Skills Centre. The new facilities will offer unparalleled access to the latest in modern technology, and will enable to College to respond to skills shortages in the region and beyond.
Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness said; “The UK makes up only 1% of the world’s population, yet we produce 10% of the world’s top scientific research. Because of this we should aspire to be the leading national and international centre for renewable energy. STEM graduates have the potential to earn amongst the highest salaries of all new recruits yet we continue to face difficulties in training sufficient people both to work in and teach the STEM subjects.
“Here in the East Riding, young people will have the chance to develop the skills they need at Centres of Excellence like Bishop Burton that will offer the very best in teaching and learning, and will contribute hugely to the region’s up-skilling.”
Part-funded by the Skills Funding Agency and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (Humber LEP), the £2m STEM and Humber Energy Centre building provides state of the art teaching resources including virtual simulators, precision farming technology, and will enable to College to teach students skills that are highly sought after in the local economy.
College Principal and Chief Executive Jeanette Dawson OBE, said; “The College aspires to be an innovative, enterprising, research-active education provider and indispensable partner of choice. In order to achieve this, a whole college approach to STEM is essential, and the new facilities are at the heart of that.
She added; “The Centre has been developed to support the development of sustainable technologies, drawing on a broad science base and applied mathematics. Upon completion of studies at Bishop Burton, all students, regardless of their future career pathway, will have the STEM knowledge and skills they need to be informed citizens in an increasingly scientific and technological society.”
Mr. Stuart also took time to officially unveil the £3.5m Technology and Skills Centre, funded in part by the Skills Funding Agency. The state-of-the-art training facility provides 21st century workshops and equipment for land based studies, construction and engineering, and gives students access to the latest technology in precision farming, including global positioning systems, CAN bus electronics, drone technology and refrigeration engineering.
The Technology and Skills Centre is also home to Agrii’s Northern Technology Centre and its laboratory facilities linked to the company’s expanding cropping trials programme on the College farm. The building marks a long term commitment between the College and Agrii - one of the UK’s leading lights in arable research, development and technology.
On the partnership, the Principal added; “We are thrilled to have extended our partnership with one of the UK’s leading lights in arable research, development and technology in such an emphatic way.
“The College will gain tremendously from our students’ exposure to and involvement with the very latest in agronomic science and technology development. This will reinforce their understanding of the way the practical skills they are learning fit into the much bigger picture of ensuring food production meets the major challenges of the future.”
A number of high-profile VIPs and representatives from the local business community were in attendance at today’s unveiling, including the Honourable Lord Lieutenant Susan Cunliffe-Lister, the Earl of Yarborough and key representatives from the Humber LEP, the Skills Funding Agency and Agrii.