How we Help Chesterfield College to Inspire the Next Generation of Engineers

Chesterfield College supports more than 8,000 students every year is an exemplar college for exciting the next generation of learners to pursue vocational qualifications.

From taster days, community projects and World Skills competitions, both the fabrication and welding tutors and their learners continually provide an excellent example of the high standards that can be achieved in the engineering sector.

The college inspires young people to consider careers in engineering by engaging them in taster sessions and open evenings throughout the year. Potential learners interested in fabrication and welding are invited to the college for taster events while being mentored one-to-one by one of the college’s advanced apprentices or full-time students undertaking the ABC Awards Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding.

Chesterfield College takes great pride in their Showcase Centre membership and regularly promotes the qualifications to other colleges and training providers, sharing their experiences and methods used to plan and deliver all fabrication and welding qualifications at Levels 1-3.

The college also has an engagement team working directly with schools to deliver sessions about different career options and breaking down gender barriers. Recent events have included the opportunity for hundreds of young students in Derbyshire to see the replica Bloodhound car on its tour of the UK, with the chance to build their own jet powered car and talk to employers like Rolls-Royce about the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) qualifications and careers.

The Fabrication and Welding Department has also support local community projects, with the ABC Awards Level 3 Diploma students creating an astonomy-themed metal frame to be auctioned off to raise money for specialist stroke services. A group of students doing a variety of engineering-related qualifications also joined together to build a commemorative Armistice sculpture in the shape of a poppy which was displayed as part of the Chesterfield Borough Council’s Remembrance events.

The ABC Awards fabrication and welding qualifications were developed with the support of the experts at Chesterfield College to ensure that they continually meet the needs of employers and offer a flexible approach to learners who may still be making choices about their future career paths.

Ray Peet, Career Pathway Leader (Fabrication and Welding, and Vehicle Body and Paint) in Engineering and Construction at the college, said:

“There is a skills shortage in the industry and we required qualifications that would bridge this gap and the flexibility from ABC Awards was just what was needed to allow us to develop the skills required in engineering and manufacturing, talents much in demand in the UK market.

“Many of our customers required a range of processes such as plate work fabrication, engineering drawing/AutoCAD, quality assurance, welding inspection, engineering materials, metal arc gas shielded welding, manual metal arc welding, tungsten arc gas shielded welding, sheet metal work or a mix and we needed qualifications that could meet these requirements. ABC Awards provided such qualifications to give flexibility, not only in choice, but delivery and to recognised industry standards.”

Learners from Chesterfield College have progressed from full-time courses to apprenticeships with fabrication and welding companies, with many achieving distinction grades and completing additional units to gain multiple skills they can offer to engineering companies. Students from Chesterfield College have been successful in reaching the finals of the WorldSkills competitions and the British Weld Off, as well as winning awards within the college at the annual College Celebration of Achievement for apprentice of the year, student of the year and adult student of the year.

Following a recent moderation visit, an ABC Awards moderator added:

“This college is an ‘exemplar’ organisation for welding qualifications and the welding staff need to be commended for their efforts.”

The Fabrication and Welding Department also has it’s own dedicated Facebook page containing recent events and ongoing progression of it’s engineering students.

Chesterfield College is an ABC Awards Showcase Centre for Fabrication and Welding.