Former Cabinet Minister and broadcaster Michael Portillo officially opened the Endress+Hauser Application, Training and Engineering Centre

Measurement engineering specialist Endress+Hauser celebrated the launch of its new training centre on Friday 8 November with special guest Michael Portillo. The former Cabinet Minister cut the ribbon on the £650,000 facility which has been created in the grounds of Endress+Hauser’s UK headquarters in Manchester.

The training centre offers bespoke courses for both customers and staff in the areas of instrumentation, field communication and process control. The facilities include a 12-seater classroom fitted with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment and interactive software as well as four process rigs, a purpose-built workshop and control room to allow trainees to get ‘hands on’ with the equipment.

The training centre is the latest demonstration of Endress+Hauser’s commitment to the education and development of young engineers. As well as offering customer training, the contemporary facility will complement the company’s apprentice and graduate schemes which have run for the past eight years.

“We take our responsibility to train the engineers of the future seriously,” said Endress+Hauser Ltd’s Managing Director David Newell. “In reality we have no choice but to offer our own training programmes due to the alarming shortage of engineering skills in the UK, made worse by the fact that universities are producing only 50,000 engineering graduates per year when the real requirement is closer to 100,000.”

Endress+Hauser is also forming partnerships with numerous educational establishments including schools, technical colleges, universities and apprentice training facilities. Currently the company is working with the new University Technical College Wigan, a specialist 14-19 Academy for engineering and environmental technologies, developing young people with the skills required by the food & beverage industry. Endress+Hauser is also heavily committed to supporting the Eden Food Technology and Engineering project, managed by Reaseheath College in conjunction with Arla Foods and other major players in the industry.

Michael Portillo said he was “deeply impressed” by what he’d seen, adding, “We need to address the problem of not enough young people being inspired to follow technical subjects. This training centre will not only benefit the young people themselves but our country as a whole by driving up the skills base of our society and encouraging economic recovery.”

The company’s Chairman Hans-Peter Endress said, “For as long as I can remember Endress+Hauser has been investing in young people. My father, who founded Endress+Hauser UK almost exactly 45 years ago, would have been very proud of this new facility that will not only allow us to provide first class training but will also help us serve our customers better.”

A representative of the Swiss Embassy in London, Nicholas Niggli, also spoke at the launch. Mr. Niggli heads the diplomatic team representing and promoting Switzerland’s economic, science and business interests in the UK. He paid tribute to Endress+Hauser, saying “their commitment to excellence is truly astonishing.”