A NEW £2m training centre for future mechanics to learn their trade opens its doors tomorrow.

Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry will unveil the new motor vehicle training centre at the Banbury campus of Oxford and Cherwell Valley College.

The new facility will include MOT testing bays, diagnostic tools and electric car charging points.

Courses on offer will train youngsters for jobs at car dealerships, body repair and fast-fit centres, vehicle parts, leasing and renting.

It is part of a £9.5m investment at the college site in Broughton Road, Banbury.

The final stage, a £4m creative media production suite, is expected to open before Christmas. It comes two years after the college opened its Academy of Creative Arts following a £3.5m refurbishment.

Two years ago the motor facility did not have any students.

Now is has about 20 and will double its intake of full time students, apprentices and secondary school vocational pupils.

Principal Rose Turner said: “This is an exciting development in the provision of vocational training in the Banbury area.

“We have made a significant investment in these new facilities to offer students the very best grounding for a career in the motor vehicle industry.

“We know that our young people need the right learning environment in which to develop the technical and softer skills that employers demand.

“In the coming months we will be launching a new learning company from the centre, offering MOT testing to external customers.

“This will give students real work experience as they complete their qualifications, providing them with a competitive advantage when it comes to securing employment.

“We are also keen to strengthen our links with local garages to increase the motor vehicle apprenticeship programme offered in the local area.”

Stuart Briscoe, a level 2 motor vehicle maintenance and repair student, said: “The way you learn on this course is really hands-on and now being in the new motor vehicle centre is fantastic. It is bright and modern and has the all space you need.”

Aaron Bridges, 18, from Enstone, who is on the third year of an advanced motor vehicle repair apprenticeship, said: “The old workshop was quite cramped. You couldn’t have your tool box close as other people were working so you had to go to the other side of the room.

“It’s better now because they have got more up-to-date technology, it’s bigger and easier to work in because they have got all the right equipment.”

The college has a long-term aspiration to move all its facilities to the south side of Broughton Road. The north side would then be sold for housing.

There will be an open event at the college on Wednesday, November 6, between 4pm and 7pm. To register, see ocvc.ac.uk s Next month Oxford & Cherwell Valley College, which has campuses in Oxford city centre, Blackbird Leys, Banbury and Bicester, will be reorganised to become City of Oxford College and Banbury and Bicester College