KATE Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston, joined Sir Bill Moorcroft and staff at Trafford College on Friday morning to celebrate the future of science and technology training in the borough with the official employer launch of the college’s £15m STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Centre for Greater Manchester.

The new centre, will revolutionise the way students experience STEM subjects. Boasting world-class facilities that include cutting edge engineering and motor vehicle workshops, state of the art 'learning labs' and science laboratories, and a specialist green room, learners can unleash their full potential and be creative through hands-on learning.

Sir Bill, along with assistant principal for STEM, Steve Jones, welcomed some of Greater Manchester’s most significant employers to the celebration. With a real shortage of STEM professionals to fill their vacancies, the college is looking forward to tackling this issue head on by working alongside the region’s key employers, who in turn will provide work placement opportunities for students, arming them with crucial workplace experience and ultimately a competitive edge in the industry.

With a 40,000 per year shortage of home-grown graduates in the area of STEM, it is now estimated that one in five new graduates need to be studying in STEM related fields just to maintain the UK’s current workforce. Crucially, the new centre will help to address local skills shortages in the area of STEM and enable the growth of employment and apprenticeship opportunities.

The employer launch coincided with news of the college’s success in gaining STEM Assured Status, one of only 20 colleges in the UK to be recognised by NEF: The Innovation Institute, and the only centre is Greater Manchester to have been recognised with the prestigious award.

The STEM Assured standard is awarded to institutions with advanced capability to support the needs of business and industry through specialist teaching and training in STEM. This UK-wide quality standard is recognised by the Government (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills), the UK Commission for Employment & Skills (UKCES) and The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS); accordingly, it is the only standard that assures the quality of vocational STEM provision.

Trafford College principal, Sir Bill Moorcroft said: "Today's celebration is about recognising the tremendous contribution made by so many individuals who have been at the forefront of realising our ambitions for a project that is pivotal to the development of STEM in our local community.

“I am also delighted to celebrate the news of the college’s approval as a STEM Assured centre. The STEM Assured standard provides a robust framework that benchmarks and validates a college’s capability in delivering STEM.

“It is designed and recognised by business and industry and is endorsed by government and regulatory. A key driver for innovation is the interplay between STEM subjects, and developing and delivering cross curricula STEM is a prerequisite to meet the growing needs of new and emerging technology companies.”

Kate Green MP, added: “I’m thrilled to be here for the opening of this fantastic STEM facility which will be part of a long term, successful economic future.

“It’s incredibly important to invest in facilities such as Trafford College’s Centre for Science and Technology.

“This centre will provide the best possible employment prospects for young people in the field of STEM in Greater Manchester and is the place for young people to be.

“It represents the new beginning of a very good future for the youth of today. With the number of female students considering careers in STEM subjects increasing, we also look forward to welcoming many more young women at the centre over the coming months.”