Siemens has set up a new partnership with the University of Salford and Trafford College to help boost skills in the engineering sector.
The engineering giant employs 14,ooo people in the UK and is trying to give the North West a boost by closing the skill gap and training highly qualified engineers in the area.
Figures from Engineering UK say that there will be more than 2.6m job openings between now and 2022.
The not-for-profit organisation also says that the UK needs to double the amount of advanced engineering apprenticeships.
The three organisations have outlined a new Degree Apprenticeship which would allow company recruits to study block release at Trafford College and the University of Salford, working seamlessly from Higher National Certificate/Higher National Diploma to Bachelor of Engineering level.
Degree Apprenticeships, which are part government-funded, and allow people to study while working to achieve higher qualifications without accruing large student debts.
Divisional director of process industry and drives at Siemens, Manchester, Mike Houghton, commented: “This is a unique and exciting opportunity to work with two heavyweights of engineering education, Trafford College and the University of Salford.
“Siemens has 500 trainees at any given time, so this is a fantastic opportunity to add value to their careers and the region’s higher skills base.”
Sir Bill Moorcroft, principal at Trafford College, added: “This is a fantastic project that brings together a key employer and education partners to provide an innovative pathway for high quality engineering graduates of the future that will be part of the UK’s economic growth, and provide a route map for others to follow.”
Professor Paul Rowlett, pro vice-chancellor (academic) at the University of Salford, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Siemens and Trafford College as a university which prides itself on its industry collaborations.
“This is an exciting partnership model which we hope will generate excellent options for engineers hoping to further their careers and strengthen engineering in the UK.”
Siemens and its partners hope to see the first graduates from the three-way collaboration sometime in 2018.