OAKBANK School and Keighley Campus are teaming up to create an Industrial Centre of Excellence.

The ‘ICE’ will develop a skilled workforce of young people to meet the needs of Keighley’s rapidly-expanding engineering and engineering companies.

The project, which also heavily involves Bradford Council, will focus on advanced manufacturing and engineering including creative and digital technologies.

The centre for 14 to 19-year-olds – to be known as CE:AME – will be developed in conjunction with key local employers.

It will see students beginning engineering studies at Oakbank School, then progressing to the centre itself at Keighley Campus, which is part of Leeds City College.

Construction work is currently underway for a fully-fitted on-site workshop to help develop the engineers of the future.

This will include industry-standard Computer Numerical Controlled machinery, lathes, milling machines, workbenches and other innovative engineering equipment.

The centre will provide education and training options to full time learners, with two new qualifications at Keighley Campus: Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations and Level 3 BTEC Certificate in Engineering.

Plans for Oakbank School include new learning programmes involving 3D printing, 3D modelling, electronics and creative media.

Meanwhile, local employers will offer work experience, real-life project scenarios, masterclasses mentoring and site visits.

The Keighley Campus centre is one of a number of Industrial Centres of Excellence being funded by Bradford Council across the district as part of its employment and businesses will be placed at the heart of helping shape education delivery.

The intentions are to improve entry to key sectors of business, offer more opportunities and skill levels to teenagers, and meet increasing demand for a highly-competitive workforce.

David Howard, senior deputy principal at Leeds City College, said the college would work alongside key local stakeholders to provide specialist opportunities for young people.

He said: “The long-term plan is to entice high-achieving young people and, with the support of industry, provide them with the problem-solving skills and technical attributes which the engineering sector needs.”

Oakbank head David Maxwell said the school had two sets of year 10 and 11 children who were already studying engineering.

He said: “It’s very important that we give these children the opportunity to further their studies. There’s a shortage of engineers.”

Coun Ralph Berry, the council’s portfolio holder for children’s services, said Industrial Centres of Excellence were an innovative way to match education with the district’s economic needs.

He added: “The council has taken a strong lead in bringing education and business together to do this.”