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Secretary of State visits Northern Regional College

The Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, today visited the Farm Lodge Campus of Northern Regional College in Ballymena. Mrs Bradley was given a tour of the Campus and met with staff and students from the engineering department, who showcased the work they are doing in the area of robotics.

Northern Regional College has been at the forefront of innovation in robotics and engagement with industry for almost 20 years. Local industry stakeholders, including Wrightbus and Hutchinson Engineering, have been key partners in developing the curriculum to match industrial needs and through investment (under Assured Skills projects) in the best resources and facilities to develop the skills needed in past, present and future manufacturing.

Professor Terri Scott, Principal & Chief Executive of Northern Regional College, commented: “We were pleased to welcome the Secretary of State to the College today and showcase some of the outstanding work that is being delivered by our engineering staff and students.

“Robotics is a central focus of the College’s advanced manufacturing provision and ensures students are exposed to and acquire industry standard skills,” she said. “As more companies invest in automated solutions, robotics is a high value resource helping companies innovate and develop efficient processes, improve productivity, workplace safety and quality.

“This is just one example of how we are equipping our students with the technical competencies and wider employability skills required to thrive in the modern world of work.”

Speaking at the visit, the Secretary of State said: “Across the UK and further afield, Northern Ireland is renowned for the calibre of its talent and this is clearly being nurtured here at Northern Regional College.

“The work that is being undertaken at the College through its Further and Higher Education provision is an excellent example of investment in helping people of all ages to develop valuable skills in new and emerging sectors, such as robotics. This will be crucial to the long-term, sustainable economic growth of Northern Ireland in the years to come.”