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Siemens’ pioneering degree apprenticeship programme  supercharges 60 engineering careers

Siemens’ pioneering degree apprenticeship programme supercharges 60 engineering careers

Saint-Gobain Formula, based in Newark, among UK companies signed up

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW2022) chance to highlight alternative pathways, says Siemens Digital Industries MD

A pioneering degree apprenticeship programme from Siemens Digital Industries has supercharged the careers of 60 engineers from companies across the UK - including plaster and gypsum manufacturer Saint-Gobain Formula.

Among the other companies who have signed up to the four-year programme since it launched in 2017 are AstraZeneca and Zeeco Europe.

Co-delivered with Tameside College and the University of Salford it uses a block delivery model combining academic modules in automation, robotics, and embedded systems, Siemens S7 Certified PLC programmer training and accreditation, and a workplace project to solve a real-world problem.

The outcome is a degree-qualified engineer with a range of practical skills and technical understanding needed to capitalise on the opportunities of Industry 4.0.

Seven apprentices have so far graduated with a BEng Hons (Bachelor of Engineering) in Control and Automation, and a further 53 are on target to achieve their qualification and accelerate up the career ladder.

Emma Worthington, Vocational Skills Consultant, and David Stirk, Engineering Apprentice Coach, from Siemens Digital Industries, have worked closely with partners to develop the degree programme.

“We started this journey four years ago in a new landscape of apprenticeship standards for which no training provider knew what a successful programme would look like,” Emma said. “Our partnership with AstraZeneca, Saint-Gobain Formula and Zeeco Europe has developed a level six industry-relevant qualification.

“Working closely with managers and automation engineers from all the companies who have committed their apprentices to the programme has been fundamental to its success. Together we are creating generations of highly qualified engineers ready for the challenges that lie ahead."

Brian Holliday, Managing Director, Siemens Digital Industries, said:

“National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the success of our degree apprenticeship programme and illustrate what can be achieved by collaboration between industry and academia. 

“Our programme has helped us reach out to a myriad of manufacturers including pharmaceutical, OEM, chemicals, food and drink and even global supply chain leaders, who strive to close in on the skills gap and bring its work force up to speed to use new innovation technologies and automation in their factories.

“My own career started with an apprenticeship, so I fully endorse them as a fantastic alternative to young people, and those looking to upskill, wishing to explore a different path to university and achieve a degree.”


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