Tuesday, November 12, 2013

News: RCAT's Engineering Centre of Excellence

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The Engineering department at Rotherham College has been undergoing a huge transformation over the last couple of months to create an Engineering Centre of Excellence in Rotherham town centre.


Last year the college secured £800,000 from the Skills Funding Agency's Enhanced Renewal Grant to improve the hospitality and catering facilities and to upgrade the working environments in the Engineering department.

The facilities are designed to replicate the industry as close as possible and give students and apprentices a more realistic training experience which will help the local economy by increasing the amount of highly skilled engineers.

Creating more open, lighter and enjoyable working environments is being accomplished by removing the mezzanine floor. New equipment is to be installed along with the existing refurbished equipment such as lathes and millers which have been extensively refurbished. These have now been positioned in specific places in the workshops to create a more realistic working environment. When entering the new Engineering Centre of Excellence it will feel more welcoming and the exterior of the building is getting a slight facelift.

There will be increased access and visibility into the workshop through the innovative design of a refurbished entrance which has been designed to make sure that the Engineering department isn't shut off from the rest of the College meaning that visitors and other students can watch the diverse teaching and learning taking place.

Gill Alton, principal and chief executive of the College, said: "We are delighted to be able to invest in state of the art facilities which underpin the excellent training offered at Rotherham College. It is important that students have an opportunity to work with industry standard facilities and resources."

The refurbishment is intended to be complete over the next couple of weeks when both new and current students will get the opportunity to be the first to get their hands on the new facilities and equipment.

The upgrade follows a £1m grant from the same fund that saw new science laboratories, hair, nail and beauty salons, theatre workshops and media make-up suites, open last autumn following a £3.2m refurbishment programme. Work is also well underway on the redevelopment of the Wharncliffe, the student run restaurant, also on the town centre campus.

This all followed on from the £7m Wentworth Building that opened in 2011.

RCAT was recently given a rating of "Good" by Ofsted inspectors, and two of its departments, Construction and Visual and Performing Arts, earned the top rating of "Outstanding."

RCAT website

Images: RCAT

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