YOUNG ENGINEERS are hanging up their school uniforms and reaching for their overalls ready for the opening of Solihull’s WMG Academy for Young Engineers which opens its doors this September.
The Observer’s Aisling Kiely put on her hard hat and took a sneak peak behind the scenes ahead of the grand reveal.
The multi-million pound build – backed by Warwick University, Solihull Council and blooming businesses in the region – has followed in the footsteps of its successful sister academy in Coventry which opened in 2014.
The applications are flooding in and the finishing touches are well underway – ready to harvest the next generation of engineers.
The imminent opening of the WMG Academy has offered a new lease of life for students across the borough looking to specialise in science and engineering.
The state-of-the-art academy has traded chalkboards, wooden desks and textbooks in for top of the range equipment – including specialist IT equipment, hi-tech workshops and sound proof classrooms.
Speaking to The Observer, Coun Bob Sleigh, leader of Solihull Council, said: “Any students that attend this academy have a very bright future.
“This University Technology College (UTC) is absolutely critical to what we are trying to do with in the whole of the West Midlands.
“We have big opportunities within engineering in the West Midlands – including the proposed HS2 railway – that hopefully these students will contribute to.”
The hands-on students will soon be able to get a taste of the trade and work on real-life projects with JLR, Balfour Beatty and Pro Drive – just to name a few businesses the academy has teamed up with.
Students will also have the opportunity to try their hand at all aspects of engineering – from manufacturing to designing and modelling to testing.
Associate Principal, Stewart Tait said: “One of the things that drew me to WMG Academy is the firm links between a long list of business partners.
“Students will be able to work closely with prospective employers on real-life projects and see how engineering can be applied.”
The academy will welcome students in years 10 and 12 first in September and increase the intake as the years go by.