As the Year of Engineering continues, the engineering sector is working hard to address future skills shortages within the industry. This government campaign, aimed at highlighting and celebrating engineering achievements in the UK, forms part of its Industrial Strategy, designed to boost skills, close recruitment gaps and boost productivity.
Engineering UK highlights that the sector is responsible for generating 23 per cent of UK turnover employing 5.6 million people and producing most of the country’s exports. However, engineering businesses continue to report skills shortages with wide reports of vacancies that are difficult to fill and an estimated annual shortfall of around 59,000 engineering technicians and graduates.
The MIRA Technology Institute now provides a unique solution to this problem specifically for the automotive sector. Formed through a partnership between industry and education, the MTI opened its doors last month, and welcomes businesses from across the sector, from SMEs to large organisations, offering a full spectrum of training opportunities from Apprenticeships to bespoke and commercial courses.
The MTI provides access to unique skills escalator, enabling progress to higher and degree level Apprenticeships and beyond. This means that, for the first time, individuals can start an Apprenticeship at Level 2 or above and progress to PhD level with the same training organisation.
Apprenticeships can offer the best route into skilled employment for the 50% of young people who do not go to university. Students are enabled to acquire the essential grounding in STEM skills including science, technology and maths, and to progress in the automotive engineering industry, helping to grow future talent. The MTI can help talented apprentices to develop their skills and work towards achieving incorporated and chartered engineer status.
As a dedicated resource for the automotive industry, the training is highly relevant and can be accessed by the full range of businesses within the sector from automotive dealerships to companies with the supply chain, and major international corporates.
MTI Director of Operations, Lisa Bingley said: “The MTI represents a real step-change in the model for training provision for the automotive sector. In the past, access to technical training of this type has been quite fragmented, depending on factors such as skill level, geographical location and industry specialism.
“What is new with MTI, and the reason why we believe this new facility is set to make such an impact is that all aspects of advanced automotive skills training will now be accessible under one roof, effectively through a single provider. Clients will be able to upskill their workforce seamlessly using our skills escalator. We hope that this will present organisations with a much easier way of future-proofing their training requirements.”
For large employers with an annual wage bill of more than £3M, the Apprenticeship Levy means that they have a larger stake in the type of training delivered by the MTI and it is working more closely with them than ever to develop new apprenticeship routes.
The MTI currently offers Apprenticeships in Automotive Engineering at Levels 2-4 including an Apprenticeship Standard accredited by the Association for Project Management (APM). The programmes include automotive-related maths and science, health and safety, vehicle electrics and electronics, vehicle systems, engine principles and operation.
The MTI is the result of a unique collaboration between North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College and its partners, HORIBA MIRA, the University of Leicester, Loughborough University and Coventry University.
Built with £9.5m investment from the UK Government’s Local Growth Fund via the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), the MTI is a 24,500 sq.ft specialist facility to train the next generation of automotive engineers in the latest automotive technology.
This state-of-the-art resource will help to create specialist skills in some of the new disruptive technology areas including electrification and driverless cars, ensuring a sustainable supply of future technical specialists and engineers.
Through the MTI, employers can access a new generation of automotive engineering apprentices, trained in a cutting-edge environment with access to Rapid Prototype, 3D Printing, Robotics, Fluid Power, Mechatronics, Electronic Circuit Design and other areas of new, disruptive technology.
Employers that are interested in taking on or training an apprentice should get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.