A Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree has been unveiled by Siemens and the University of Salford in an effort to address the engineering skills shortage affecting UK industry.
The pioneering BEng degree in Control and Automation aims to address these gaps by increasing the academic status of apprentices and engineering personnel in these areas, delivering relevant content – especially digital content – to meet the needs of today’s industrial businesses.
The new Honours degree will be available at the University of Salford and combines a number of academic modules, together with Siemens’ Approved ‘PLC Programmer Certification’. It is available to both apprentices and anyone with an existing appropriate level 5 engineering qualification and experience.
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Deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Salford, Professor Richard Stephenson explained: “The University has a strong reputation of working closely with industry, which is reflected in its strategy for developing Industrial Collaboration Zones. I’m delighted that we are collaborating with Siemens to offer a programme which will equip participants with industry-specific understanding to enhance their skill-set and further their career in engineering.”
The year-long top-up degree is reportedly available as part of the Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship standard for control / technical support engineer, or as a stand-alone solution for engineers looking to upskill and achieve an academic qualification.
Apprentice scheme coordinator for Siemens UK and Ireland, Jason Phin commented: “As the impact of digitisation continues to shape the UK’s industrial future, it is crucial we have the skills to support it.
“For this reason, we wanted to ensure this degree was not just purely an academic solution we would endorse, but that it would offer the practical skills required by the engineers of tomorrow.”
The BEng degree in Control and Automation, which has been created according to requirements of UK-SPEC, will enroll its first cohort in September 2017.
Last year, Siemens joined forces with the University of Salford and Trafford College to develop education and training programmes for school leavers to degree level. Degree Apprenticeships, which are part government-funded, allow people to study while working and achieve higher qualifications without accruing large student debts.
Engineers at the University of Salford who are also developing the programmes include: Dr Nigel Blackie, director of Computing, Acoustics and Future Media, and Dr Steve Hill, senior lecturer.