Plans for £5m studio at South Staffordshire school in JLR link

A £5 million engineering 'studio' is being planned for a school in South Staffordshire to train students up for new jobs with the likes of Jaguar Land Rover.

Plans for £5m studio at South Staffordshire school in JLR link

Codsall Community High School is working with the luxury car maker, which is set to open its £500 million engine plant at the i54 business park later this year.

But the school has also been revealed to be bidding for Government funding to create a specialist studio for the engineers of the future, able to take jobs with the likes of aerospace giants such as Moog or UTC as well as JLR.

Aerospace engineering is a big employer in Wolverhampton.

It comes amid concerns of a shortage of skills across the Black Country in modern engineering.

If it is approved by the Department for Education, the school could cater for up to 75 students a year to take engineering courses at GCSE and A Level.

Details of Codsall High's bid were revealed in a debate in Parliament by South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson.

He said: "In the run-up to 2018, the automotive sector hopes to take on 7,600 new apprentices and 1,700 new graduates. Such a studio will concentrate on training the engineers and designers of the future so that South Staffordshire can provide the very best work force to Jaguar Land Rover and the aerospace sector and companies can grow with the best talent."

Marjorie Tunnicliffe, headteacher of the Elliotts Lane school, said: "We are looking to develop engineering.

Our academy will be offering engineering at GCSE and A-Level. We would like to improve our facilities."

Mr Williamson added: "This is a fantastic bid.

"We have one of the highest rated schools in Staffordshire and to have this investment would be an enormous boost to the whole area, particularly the villages of Codsall, Bilbrook, Perton and Pattingham that the school serves. JLR, Moog, UTC and others are based right on the doorstep and they provide high quality engineering and products bought all over the world."

The JLR factory has been praised by the Prime Minister as 'an absolute trailblazer for the country'.

Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall and Sandwell Councils are seeking £56 million from the Government for a range of projects, which would take around £15m.

The area's Local Enterprise Partnership believes it can raise millions of pounds more from other public sector organisations, and investment from the private sector.

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