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Cream of UK engineering descends on North Wales college for EEF conference

LEADING lights in UK engineering descended on Coleg Cambria for a prestigious two-day conference.

The college’s £10m Bersham Road facility in Wrexham hosted the EEF (Engineering Employers Federation) forum, where up to 25 further education leaders came together for a packed programme of workshops and activities centred on best practice and innovative learning methods.

Nick Tyson, Assistant Principal and Director of Learning, said the coming-together of engineering heads from across the country supports continued growth of the sector in Wales.

He added the college was “proud” to host the event, which included collaboration with heavyweights of industry.
“It was a brilliant few days that focused on advanced manufacturing during a visit to Airbus, and discussions over how Wales is performing in that arena and where we need to be to develop further,” said Mr Tyson.

“We also had talks and interactive workshops with organisations such as Industry Wales and the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF), looking at apprenticeships and tailor-made training, which is what employers want, and what we aim to deliver here at Cambria.”

He added: “The two-day conference gave us an opportunity to showcase the incredible facilities here at our new Bersham complex during a tour of the site on the second day and a series of best-practice sessions by our lecturers.
“These featured a seminar on how we deliver innovative learning through modern and digital techniques, which was very popular with those in attendance.”

Mr Tyson revealed the highlight of the programme was a presentation by former student Ethan Davies, now a Manufacturing Technician dealing with high-precision aircraft robotics and tooling at Electroimpact in Hawarden.
Ethan represented Team UK at the WorldSkills finals in Abu Dhabi last year, and was recently named VQ Learner of the Year at the annual Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards for Wales.

“We all enjoyed hearing Ethan’s story and witnessing the amazing strides he has made in the last couple of years,” added Mr Tyson.

“The college – particularly the Engineering team – is very proud of what he has gone on to achieve, so it was a pleasure to have him back to explain his journey from student to apprentice and WorldSkills finalist.”

Coleg Cambria apprentice engineers were among the big winners at the national finals of the EEF Apprentice of the Year Awards in 2017, and hope to do even better this time around.

The college unveiled the revolutionary Bersham Road building in February; it features a conference room, manufacturing hall, CAD suites and electronic and engineering labs.

Opening the building, CEO David Jones said: “This magnificent facility is here to deliver world class further and higher level courses for engineering, construction, wider science and technology in partnership with businesses in this area and beyond.”

For more information on the wide selection of courses and apprenticeships in Engineering at Coleg Cambria, visit www.cambria.ac.uk