College course is getting engineering back on track

Northampton College is bidding to tackle a major skills shortage that is threatening to bring the UK’s engineering sector to a grinding halt.

A lack of qualified engineers who can undertake jobs in management, design, development, planning, control and sales risks crippling the industry, but a pioneering new course is looking to ensure a packed pipeline of workplace-ready talent.

The HNC Engineering course being offered at Booth Lane is aimed at day release students doing apprenticeships, students who have completed A levels and are looking for an entry engineering course, students who have completed level 3 BTEC courses and mature professionals with industry experience.

The programme aims to develop the analytical, technical, communication and management skills required by technician engineers in today’s engineering industry. It integrates mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering with design, manufacture and business studies.

Darren Stawarz, a mature student who completed the course at Booth Lane while working as a project engineer at Knorr-Bremse RailServices in Wolverton, was named the winner of a regional apprenticeship award for his hard work.

He said:

“I’ve always been highly driven and I want to do the best I possibly can. I’ve always been of the view that there’s no point doing anything if you don’t do it to the very best of your ability."

“I managed to secure an A* for every assignment at College and I was delighted to win the award. It cemented the work I was doing day in, day out and was reward for the effort I put in. It was actually the second apprenticeship I had done at Northampton College and I’m hugely grateful for the support and teaching I received.”

Having completed the HNC, Darren was accepted on a degree course at the University of Northampton to study for a BA Honours in Engineering and acted as a mentor to colleagues at Knorr-Bremse at Wolverton.

Northampton College works with a host of local employers to provide a range of apprenticeship opportunities for students looking to earn while they learn. Companies integrating Northampton College students into their workforce include Cosworth, Mahle, Bearward, Gemini, D F Smith, Turnell and Odell and Parker.

The college is also now looking for employers to take on apprentices from September, especially in areas such as Motor Vehicle (Light & Heavy), Fabrication & Welding and HR (Level 3 & 5).

Donna Rowland, recruitment and support manager for apprenticeships. “Not only will you be investing in local young people but you will also benefit from new creative ideas, fresh talent and fill your skills gaps. The college will help you find your ideal candidate. We will pre-screen students, help you advertise your vacancy and prepare students for interview.”

If you are interested in helping to develop the workforce of the future please contact the college’s Business Centre by calling 01604 734323