Opening of Bournville College Engineering Centre


Bournville Opening

I was privileged to open the new Engineering Centre at Bournville College yesterday.

With state of the art equipment to teach the practical, hands-on skills that employers are always looking for, the centre will initially offer students the opportunity to acquire qualifications from Level 1 to level 3 with potential for university-partnered courses up to level 5 being available – probably as early as next year.

Engineering is in the DNA of Longbridge. Its name has been synonymous with motor manufacturing for over one hundred years. The new centre at Bournville College both celebrates that heritage and demonstrates how world-class engineering can be as much a part of the area’s future as its past. Although cars are no longer assembled at Longbridge, three hundred skilled engineers work at the SAIC Technical Centre today designing and develop the motor vehicles of tomorrow. They are part of the same industry that still employs thousands of people working for major car companies from Jaguar Land Rover to Toyota and BMW in the West Midlands, and more beyond, and for hundreds of specialist component and other companies across the country. Together they ensure that the UK is once again recognised as world-class in automotive.

They are developing a future for automotive that is radically different from anything seen before – one of ultra-low or zero emissions, and where in-car information systems enable us to make smarter choices about how to get about – including when it makes more sense not to use a private motor vehicle to do so. Increasingly, motor vehicles will be capable of autonomous operation to the extent that even what we mean by driving will change.

Turning these innovative ideas into reality in ways that change the way we live is what engineers do. The UK urgently needs more engineers at all levels. They are more important than ever to find solutions to the huge technical challenges that the future holds – in automotive and in the entire spectrum of industries and sectors that drive a modern economy.

Bournville College’s Engineering Centre at Longbridge provides the opportunity for local young people to be at the heart of this innovation, opening up opportunities to embark on great careers in modern engineering and manufacturing. It is also great to see the emphasis that the College is putting on demonstrating that those opportunities are every bit relevant to young women as they are to young men.

Congratulations to everyone who has made the opening of the Centre a reality and best of luck to all the students who will be starting in September. You can find out more about the range of courses that are on offer here –


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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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