SOLIHULL College welcomed the Duke of Kent to officially open its new Woodlands campus in Smith’s Wood.
The Duke unveiled a commemorative plaque at the Auckland Drive site which will provide youngsters aspiring to go into the automotive or areospace industries with the skills they need.
The Duke toured the Aerospace, Motor Vehicles and the Advanced Manufacturing Centre facilities with other guests, including the High Sheriff of West Midlands; Lord-Lieutenant of West Midlands; the Mayor of Solihull, Coun Glenis Slater; her Consort, Clive Slater; and MP Caroline Spelman.
While making his way around, he spoke to pupils about the projects they were working and their plans for the future.
The Duke also met Engineering Programme Manager, Rosa Wells, and was introduced to those attending the college from Secondary Schools around the West Midlands as part of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) visit with charity EDT.
EDT aims to give young people the experience and skills needed to develop in their potential careers in STEM and works with Solihull College to do so.
John Callaghan, Principal of Solihull College said it was an honour to welcome a member of the royal family to officially open the Woodlands campus.
He added: “We are extremely proud of our fantastic facilities at Solihull College and the opportunities that we can provide for students aspiring to have careers in engineering.
“We believe that it is our job to help provide the next generation of skilled employees through our many courses at Solihull College and through a wide network of professional partnerships including GBSLEP, schools, colleges, universities and businesses.”
Looking forward, the college is set to invest in an aviation centre and is also looking to offer degree level courses for Engineering for students in partnership with Oxford Brookes University.
Local MP Mrs Spelman said: “It was a pleasure to welcome HRH the Duke of Kent to the Meriden Constituency to see how young men and women are being given the skills and experience to enter the jobs market.
“The Solihull College Woodland Campus offers students the opportunity to learn in a hands-on manner, using state-of-the-art learning equipment to help them secure some of the many jobs being created as a result of the West Midlands’ manufacturing renaissance.”