The Education Business Partnership Centre (EPBC) at Jaguar Land Rover’s state-of-the-art Engine Manufacturing Centre (EMC) has celebrated its first birthday. The event coincided with a visit by Year 6 pupils from SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary Academy & Nursery in Wolverhampton, who helped the EMC’s Operations Director Trevor Leeks to cut a celebration cake. The visiting pupils toured the site and got to grips with the latest technology, all designed to bring engine manufacturing to life. They used a holographic table to project images of the Ingenium engines produced at the EMC and learned how to control miniature versions of the manufacturing robots.
Since it opened in June 2015, the EBPC has hosted 1,225 visitors, from local, national and international schools, colleges and universities. More than 94% of these students were from the West Midlands, including 36% from the Wolverhampton area.
The Centre is run in partnership with Staffordshire County Council, South Staffordshire Council, City of Wolverhampton Council and Wolverhampton College. It is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s network of six facilities at the company’s UK sites and supports the school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education programme ‘Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers’, which aims to encourage more young people to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing.
Trevor Leeks, Operations Director at the EMC, said: “The EMC’s EBPC, alongside those in our other facilities in the UK, is a vital element of Jaguar Land Rover’s education programme, enabling pupils to engage with employees and learn about design, engineering and manufacturing and learn about the world of work. This supports our commitment to inspire the next generation to study STEM-related subjects at GCSE and beyond so they can pursue careers in the automotive industry. We are the only automotive manufacturer in the UK to run EBPCs at our sites and we’re very proud to work in partnerships with our local school to enrich education and showcase the exciting and varied career opportunities at our facility.
“I’d like to thank the EBPC team for their hard work over the last 12 months, as well as the many employees, especially our fantastic apprentices, who have supported a range of visits, events and other engagement opportunities. I look forward to seeing more students at the centre in the next year and hope that one day, we’ll welcoming some of these young people back to the facility as the next generation of employees.”
Elizabeth Love, Centre Manager said: “We’re delighted to have welcomed over 1200 visitors to the centre over the last year as we’ve established ourselves as one of the leading education centres in the region. We’re looking forward to attracting even more visitors in the next academic year and will be offering more opportunities for children of all ages to learn about engine design and manufacture. With our support, Jaguar Land Rover’s school STEM programme engaged with over 686,000 young people last year and we are delighted to play our part in raising awareness of the fantastic career opportunities EMC offers to local pupils.”
Ann Lombardi, head teacher at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary Academy & Nursery said: “We had a wonderful day at the Engine Manufacturing Centre, with the children learning all about the Ingenium engine, how it is manufactured, and the facility itself. We were also really pleased to have been able to help celebrate the centre’s first birthday, with the children really enjoying meeting the Operations Director Trevor Leeks and some other members of his team. The EBPC really supports our ability to be able to bring technical subjects to life in real world environments and is a hugely important vehicle for encouraging the next generation of engineers and manufacturers.”
City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: “It is great to see pupils from the region celebrating the first anniversary of the centre. I look forward to seeing more schools and young people from Wolverhampton and Staffordshire attending in the future.”