NCC aids Coleg Gwent to launch first introduction to composites course in Wales

28 September 2018

Coleg Gwent in Ebbw Vale has officially launched the Dennison Advanced Materials Centre, the first of its kind in Wales.

Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, opened the new centre at its Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone on 27th September 2018 with representatives from companies including British Airways, GKN Aerospace and Zodiac Aerospace.

The centre is named after Jon Dennison, who sadly died in 2015. Jon, the former Government Liaison Director at GKN Aerospace, was a pioneer in the field of composite materials and had a vision of creating a ‘Composites Corridor’ in South Wales. His main aim was to train those based in South Wales with the sector expertise, focusing on young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds to realise their potential.

The College will introduce the first Advanced Composites Apprenticeship course in Wales which students can study from January 2019 in the new centre.

John Sexton, Campus Director Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone, said: “We’re thrilled to be the first college in Wales, and fourth college in the UK, to offer the ‘Introduction to Composites’ course for students.

“We’ve been working closely with the National Composites Centre, arguably the world’s leading authority on composites research, development and innovation, on the course content and required equipment so students can be confident that they’re learning the most up-to-date techniques.” 

Before the course is rolled out to students from January, Cwmbran based company Zodiac Aerospace has enrolled some of their staff to pilot the course, in order to upskill their engineers and shop floor workers.

“We’d like to thank Zodiac Aerospace Ltd who have provided our first cohort of students and with whom we will continue to work very closely indeed. We’ll be looking to roll out the course to other companies in the near future, watch this space”, continued John.

Richard Oldfield, CEO of The National Composites Centre added: “We’re delighted to offer our expertise in Composites research and training to facilitate the opening of this new facility. We’re proud to be providing opportunities for the composites engineers of tomorrow."

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