Last Summer Solihull College began a transformation to their science laboratories which saw them open their state-of-the-art life science lab at the start of this academic year.
The laboratory, which is part funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), was a particular interest of University Hospital Birmingham’s Tim Jones. Tim also acts as a sector skills champion and is responsible in helping the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Employment and Skills Board deliver the vision of ‘Skills for Growth’.
Tim Jones Comments: “Life science is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Greater Birmingham area as medicine makes new breakthroughs through technologies such as genomics. To meet this growth Birmingham will need a workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to attract companies to the area. The new state of the art lab at Solihull College will be producing the new generation of work ready applicants to meet this demand.”
The process of developing the existing labs at the College began in 2014 and the College is now in the process of continuing this development and add to their existing microbiology labs by creating an additional life science laboratory with the assistance of the LEP.
With life science being a very important part of the region it is essential for students studying within the sector to have the specialist skills which they are able to transfer into industry. Therefore, the laboratories and equipment that Solihull College & University Centre has received gives students the hands on experience and the knowledge of latest technology which will make them stand out to employers.
Students who are currently benefitting from the new facilities at the College are those studying towards a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Applied Biology. Year 2 HND Student Matthew Treacher commented: “The laboratories are state of the art, with a lot of equipment suited to level 5 and 6 courses. I have used the equipment a lot myself during my independent project at College and it has been very helpful.”
Solihull College & University Centre runs a variety of science courses at its Blossomfield Campus in Solihull and plans to add to their offer with a new Foundation Degree in Life Science in partnership with Oxford Brookes. As well as this the College is planning to offer apprenticeships in the life science areas for lab technicians and scientists.
Director of Employment and Skills at Solihull College & University Centre, Shaun Hindle comments: “As a College we constantly look for ways for our students to have the necessary skills to remain up to date within industries such as life science. By working with the LEP we are provided with excellent opportunities to expand our facilities to offer students a working environment relevant to that they would experience in employment. The funding we receive from the LEP proves to be worth the investment as our students have already succeeded and will continue to succeed when studying at Solihull College & University Centre. We are extremely proud of our life science facilities and look forward to developing them further.”
For more information on the courses, including those in life science, at Solihull College & University Centre visit the courses page or call 0121 678 7000.