Furness College is South Cumbria’s largest training provider, having a roll call of more than 4,300 full-and part-time students, of which 700 are adults. In addition, the college trains over 1,000 apprentices each year.

The establishment’s new £47 million campus includes a £4 million Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre (AMTC), the first resource of its kind in Cumbria, that provides industry-specific training resources and facilities. The AMTC has classroom space for up to 450 higher education students and 1,150 apprentices on science, technology and engineering apprenticeships and HNC and degree programmes, in engineering manufacturing and electrical and electronic engineering.

The aim of the AMTC is to help local people to gain the qualifications they need to access the new jobs being created in the area, in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, nuclear and biopharmaceuticals, and to providing technology-led businesses with a supply of skilled staff. The new facility also meet the needs and priorities of Cumbria’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in the retention of the local workforce through retraining in the Advanced Manufacturing sector.

Newly installed equipment ranges from a rapid prototyping machine and the latest 5-axis CNC machines, to a suite of 3D printers and a virtual welding machine. The Faro Edge ScanArm HD with CAM2 Measure10 software complements this.

Says Gordon Higgins, curriculum leader: “The AMTC is helping to meet the growing local demands for highly skilled workers by enabling students to develop skills on real-life projects. As we work with more than 700 employers across a broad range of businesses, in order to meet their diverse needs, it is important that we provide students with access to the latest high-tech equipment and machinery. An example of our students’ exposure to, and training on, the kind of cutting-edge equipment that they will encounter in the ‘real-world’ is our recently installed Faro Edge ScanArm HD with CAM2 Measure10 software.”