Fylde MP welcomes £15.6m skills training centre

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has welcomed a new £15m training academy which will give a huge boost to the skills of current and future aerospace employees.
BAE Systems said its Samlesbury Academy for Skills and Knowledge will train generations of BAE workers for decades to come.
The state-of-the-art facility includes a virtual reality ‘cave’ which allows staff to train on complex systems away from the shop floor, robotics and 3D printing labs, a learning centre for use by children of all ages, and machining and electrical wokspaces.
Mr Menzies said: “This is a state-of-the-art facility, simply world class.
“It is something BAE has been working on since the Enterprise Zone was first conceived, something I am passionate about.
“BAE’s Warton site is the engine of the Fylde economy, with 6,500 people working there, many of whom started their lives as apprentices.
“This facility will ensure apprentices at Warton are exposed to world class training with facilities including virtual reality training and 3D printing.
“The training facility will ensure Warton has a long and bright future.”
Chris Boardman, managing director of BAE Systems Military Air & Information, said: “The Academy for Skills & Knowledge is the single biggest investment in skills in the aerospace industry and offers an unrivalled modern engineering and manufacturing environment in which BAE Systems can deliver the highest quality training.
“We are committed to playing our part in developing skills for the future, for our business, those in our supply chain and in education. In our experience, well-trained people are both socially mobile and very productive, which in turn generates economic wealth for the UK.”
Some of the labs allow the apprentices to use augmented reality to learn – hovering an iPad over an abject to be shown on-screen what the next step of action to take is.
Apprentices will be encouraged to work on projects away from aerospace to benefit other sectors, and have already developed new wheelchairs and tools for disabled people to use to make life easier for them.
The centre includes a heritage zone tracing the origins of BAE to its previous companies and detailing all of its aeroplanes from a 1910 Avro triplane to the Joint Strike Fighter.
The academy will also offer education sessions for five to 14-year-old schoolchildren.
Chris Boardman, managing director of BAE Systems Military Air & Information, said the facility would be a lifelong learning centre for staff- a base where they could return to refresh skills and learn new techniques throughout their working lives.
And while he called the building impressive, he told those at the opening ceremony he was more excited about the people, thoughts and ideas inside the facilty.
He added: “The Academy for Skills & Knowledge is the single biggest investment in skills in the aerospace industry and offers an unrivalled modern engineering and manufacturing environment in which BAE Systems can deliver the highest quality training.
“We are committed to playing our part in developing skills for the future, for our business, those in our supply chain and in education. In our experience, well-trained people are both socially mobile and very productive, which in turn generates economic wealth for the UK.”

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