Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) are in the top 10% of general further education colleges in the country for students aged 16 – 18. Both colleges offer a wide range of courses from A-levels to apprenticeships which are taught by specialist teachers at their top-class facilities.
The Palmbourne skills centre is one of the many campuses found at Stafford college. One of the courses the centre teaches is construction & plant maintenance, where apprentices from Marubeni-Komatsu and other various heavy equipment companies come to complete their level 2 and 3 NVQ & diplomas.
These apprentices come from all over the country to be taught at the campus whilst on block release where they spend 2 – 3 weeks learning at the college before returning to their employer to further develop their skills and complete assignments using the equipment they are familiar with.
The skills centre was recently given a grant of £1 million to spend on upgrading the departments resources. With the money they have purchased a variety of new equipment including the Komatsu PC210LCi-11 excavator which will be used by apprentices for various roles from inspections, to diagnose faults and to give them an understanding of how the intelligent machine control systems work.
They chose Komatsu because of the colleges strong relationship with Marubeni-Komatsu and because the machine is integrated with machine control technology which shows the colleges dedication to innovation and ability to adapt to the new technologies within the construction industry.
Investing in modern construction equipment also gives the college a competitive edge and gives the apprentices the best real life experience and prepares them for any challenges they may face in the future.
The lecturers of the course were recently given machine training by James Geddes, a field service technician at Marubeni-Komatsu, who also completed his apprenticeship at the college. Since completing his apprenticeship James has continued to expand his knowledge of Komatsu machinery by working in several different roles and has become one of the key members of staff for information about Komatsu’s machine control offering.