City College Norwich unveil £3.1m technical upgrade plan

06:00 18 March 2022

Plans for a £3.1million college upgrade to steer its engineering courses into the future have been unveiled.

City College Norwich has lodged plans to carry out more than £3million in updates to its building and engineering facilities with the City Council.

Upgrading City College facilities will cost around £3.1million
– Credit: CCN

Plans will see eight of the college’s workshops renovated and outfitted with new equipment to help students learn about low-carbon and sustainable approaches to transportation, home building and manufacturing.

Fully funded by the government’s £25million Town Deal, the project will feature one of the region’s first motor vehicle facilities specifically designed to support hybrid and electric vehicles.

City College Norwich apprentice mechanic Ethan Hawkes

City College Norwich apprentice mechanic Ethan Hawkes
– Credit: CCN

The plans have been welcomed by 17-year-old automotive apprentice Ethan Hawkes, who works for DNB Mechanical Services and still has a year left for his level three apprenticeship, which he is doing through college.

He said: “Having the new workshop will be nice because we will have more resources at our disposal. It will mean that we can learn more.

“We [DNB] do classic cars, but also a lot of hybrid and electric vehicles – and obviously you have to be trained to work on them.

“If I qualify on electric cars, we can get more and I can work more on them, so that will benefit the business as well.

“The automotive industry is constantly changing – everything is always progressing and there is always more to learn.”

One of eight workshops at City College Norwich set to be upgraded

One of eight workshops at City College Norwich set to be upgraded
– Credit: CCN

As well as refurbishing eight university workshops, the project will also see the purchase of new specialist equipment, while creating three new state-of-the-art classrooms.

Corrienne Peasgood, Principal of City College, said: “It is essential that we prepare our students for technological advances, zero-carbon innovations and new working practices, which are rapidly developing in all areas of construction, transport and engineering.

Corrienne Peasgood, Principal of City College Norwich.  Photo: Nick Butcher

Corrienne Peasgood, Principal of City College Norwich. Photo: Nick Butcher
– Credit: Nick Butcher

“This investment in our facilities will not only give our students the best possible start in their careers, but it will also support our region’s transition to a zero-carbon economy that is leading the way in sustainable housing, clean industry and of digital innovation.

Norwich City Council will consider the application in due course.

To analyse

There is no denying that technological progress is necessary if we are to create the sustainable, carbon-free future needed to tackle the climate crisis.

However, we still feel for many, many years that we are at a point where electric or hybrid cars outnumber those running on petrol or diesel.

While there are many barriers to this happening, one of the biggest here is affordability.

On average, the cost of buying an electric or hybrid car is about 20% higher than a petrol or diesel car, which deters people from taking the plunge.

Because of this, there are fewer of them on the road, which also discourages people trained in car mechanics from training for their jobs – because the lion’s share of work is still in petrol and diesel.

It is therefore admirable that the college is taking steps to advance the level of training of people in sustainable transportation.

Hopefully, as this technology becomes more mainstream, it will become more affordable – so training more people to manage it will be vital.

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