Merseyside’s Engineering College is expanding its team of technical tutors after appointing a highly experienced welding specialist.
Brian Bowers takes up the role of Welding, Fabrication and Pipefitting Tutor and will be responsible for training new apprentices.
Mr Bowers started his career in Birkenhead serving his apprenticeship at Cammell Laird Shipbuilders Ltd between 1983 and 1987, working on submarines and surface warships as a welder. He has since worked with other major UK industry brands including BAE Systems and Airbus-UK based at Broughton.
“It’s terrific to be back on Merseyside working at the Engineering College,” said Mr Bowers. “Having started my career around the corner at Cammell Laird’s shipyard in the 1980s I feel I have come full circle. My apprenticeship was a great time in my life and the heritage of shipbuilding and industry in this area is second to none. I have a keen desire to pass on the knowledge I have gained my 30 plus years in industry and teach a new generation of engineers what it takes to be successful and help the industry thrive. This is a really exciting time to join the Engineering College with its ambitious expansion plans and I am greatly looking forward to joining the team.”
The news comes as the Birkenhead College continues its recruitment drive in a bid to source two more training officers, adding to its team of 38 staff. It is witnessing strong growth with apprentice numbers recently rising to 330. These are drawn from around 90 clients ranging from large private businesses to SMEs operating across multiple sectors including construction, nuclear, petrochemical, renewables, oil and gas, the NHS and maritime.
Mr Bowers, who is also a member of the Army Reserves, formerly the Territorial Army, has served with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers since 1986. He holds the rank of Staff Sergeant (Artificer Vehicles) and works as a Metalsmith and Vehicle Mechanic. Mr Bowers said the Army Reserve has provided the opportunity to work in various locations around the world, with the regular army, and mechanics and engineers from other nations.
“My experience in the Army Reserve has given me multiple skills that have complimented my civilian work. The army has taught me people management skills, discipline, and leadership, and provided me with the camaraderie that is so important in the work place. I aim to use this knowledge to the benefit of Engineering College. I have decades of experience mentoring and coaching young soldiers just starting out in their military careers and I believe I can do the same for the young apprentices forging their path into industry.”
Engineering College’s CEO Terry Weston said: “It is crucial for the development and ongoing success of the Engineering College to take on the very best new staff to give our apprentices the level of training and guidance required to make it in industry. Brian brings with him a wealth of experience both through his time at some of the UK’s most respected engineering businesses and his long service in the Army Reserves. His practical knowledge of route to success as well as the pitfalls engineers come across will guide this new generation. We welcome Brian and look forward to the positive impact he will have on the college.”
For more information on apprenticeship courses contact the college on 0151 666 1028 or visit the website www.theengineeringcollege.co.uk
First founded in 1998, today The Engineering College has a turnover of £1.7million and 38 staff. It has grown apprentice numbers to 330, drawn from 90 clients ranging from large private businesses including, Balfour Beatty and Clarke Energy to SMEs including Sovex and Laker Vent. The £500,000 refurbishment of its 6500m2 facilities in Birkenhead was part-funded through Liverpool City Region’s Growth Deal. Apprentices and other learners are benefitting from additional classroom space and new high-tech engineering equipment to train with including a virtual welding simulator. The launch event was also an opportunity for The Engineering College and its staff to promote its strong role connecting industry and education, as well as discussing the new Apprenticeship Levy. To mark National Apprenticeship Week the launch also ‘showcased’ a number of the college’s ‘star apprentices’ , from first year apprentices through to HNC level students following Higher Apprenticeships.