A UNIQUE submarine mock-up facility is helping to deliver improved apprenticeship training in south Cumbria.
The Training Facility Superb is a practice module within Furness College, Barrow, designed to aid the BAE Systems Submarines first year apprentices.
It is designed to replicate the conditions on board a submarine under construction. Now Apprentice Designer Emily Faragher has produced electrical drawings so the facility can be used for training electrical apprentices as well as others.
She said: “I updated the model and electrical diagrams for the facility so first year electrical apprentices can use the drawings and the facility as part of their college work. It means they’re better prepared for work on site, as a lot of the practical work carried out in college is for domestic use.”
Mike Fallows, Discipline Manager for Electrical and Outfit at BAE Systems Submarines, explained how Emily’s work had massively improved the learning journey for the first year electrical apprentices.
He added: “They can now complete the submarine installation and standards whilst at college, something they previously had to wait until coming into the business to do.
“This change means that when the electrical apprentices come into the business they are already a step ahead on their journey to becoming Marine Electricians.”
Furness College Director of Curriculum Steve McAloone, who oversees engineering, said: “The mock-up submarine section Superb is a training facility for BAE apprentices.
“It was named after the Barrow-built nuclear submarine HMS Superb, which was part of the Swiftsure class serving the Royal Navy.”
The unit was built in 2003 as part of a £300,000 government initiative as the main ‘physical’ development to ensure Furness College was a Centre of Vocational Excellence for marine engineering training.
Superb was reinstalled in the craft engineering department when it was recommissioned into the £43million new Channelside campus in 2012.
Steve continued: “Students train on Superb testing their skills as if they were on a real submarine. The facility is the same standard they that will use in industry and also gives them the experience of working in confined spaces.
“The latest upgrade, which means electrical and design apprentices are now using it, is great news. The outfit trades – pipework and fitting – have been using it for years and we hope it will continue to develop. Future expansion could see test and commissioning.”