The Bournemouth & Poole College is looking to tackle the national issue of the skills gap In STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by investing in high-tech equipment to support business growth in Dorset with the aid of apprentices.

According to the Employer Skills Survey 14 per cent of employers reported skills gaps within their establishment, with approximately 1.4 million staff lacking the level of skills needed in their role. This is the equivalent to five per cent of the total UK workforce.

Sunseeker International currently has 96 apprentices in training at The College and is recruiting an additional 225 staff, of which a large proportion are mechanical and electrical engineers.

Alex Bowman, Talent Manager at Sunseeker International, said: ‘‘If Dorset is to remain competitive for manufacturing employers such as Sunseeker, then the investment in modern and cutting edge engineering training facilities is paramount.’’

‘‘I am grateful that Dorset LEP and The College have been able to work in partnership to develop the engineering faculty at the North Road site, which will benefit students, parents and ultimately engineering and manufacturing employers across Dorset.’’

Mark Loose, Director of Learning for Engineering  at The Bournemouth & Poole College, added: ‘‘2016 has been the year for engineering at The College with the addition of the Cobham sponsored classroom in our STEM centre, and the upgrade our facilities received thanks to Dorset LEP’s funding.

‘‘These new facilities include a welding bay, a motor vehicle practical teaching area and investment in the lathe and milling areas, AutoCAD classrooms and 3D printing facilities. There hasn’t been a better time to study at The College.’’

Dikra Azzouz, Cobham plc apprentice at The Bournemouth & Poole College, explained: ‘‘It is so important for us to work with the facilities available at The College, as it means we are already familiar with the kinds of machinery we would work with further down the line.’’

The Bournemouth & Poole College is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of students and promotes equal opportunities for all who are interested in pursuing a career in STEM. If you would like to find out more information, The College is holding an Open Event on Tuesday November 15 from 4pm. Please visit