Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership chair Pat Doody has officially opened the new Digital and Professional Skills Centre at Lincoln College.
Housed in the 130-year-old grade II listed Gibney Building on Monks Road, the centre is the result of a £2.5m investment from the LEP, and will help train students for careers in health and social care and cyber security.
The centre is home to the latest technology to ensure graduating students are familiar with cutting-edge industry techniques.
It is also home to the Lincoln Business Centre, an incubation hub and co-working space for start-ups in the city.
Pat Doody said: “This fully restored and iconic 130-year-old building has been transformed into a cutting edge and beautiful centre. The facilities here will give students the self-confidence and experience to enter the workplace at an accelerated pace, which is vital to our local employers who have both skills and staff shortages.
“We supported this new centre because it responds directly to the skills and training requirements for employers in our priority sectors – particularly manufacturing and engineering, health and care, and digital and IT – at a time when it is needed the most.”
Thanks to this investment, Lincoln College health and social care students are now working on £26,000 simulation mannequins that help them to learn about monitoring the breathing and heart rate of elderly patients. The life-size mannequins replicate the weight and feel of the human body, allowing students to practise moving patients as they would in a care home.
The centre also boasts a fully equipped networking lab, allowing cyber apprentices to fight viruses and penetration-test servers in a secure environment.
Lincoln College principal and CEO Mark Locking said: “Investment from the LEP, the DfE and Lincoln College has breathed new life into this 130-year-old building, transforming it into a state-of-the-art training centre.
“Thanks to this investment our students are now benefitting from an amazing, progressive learning environment that is equipped with the very latest technology.
“This represents and amazing opportunity for young people interested in careers in health and social care and cyber.”