The one year top-up degree programme gives engineers a BEng Hons (Bachelor of Engineering) in Control and Automation.
Co-designed and co-delivered by Siemens Digital Industries 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.
Since its launch in 2017 more than 40 internal and external personnel from global companies as well as SMEs have upgraded their existing qualifications and improved their academic status.
Among them is Fairfield Control Systems, a Siemens Solution Partner that specialises in the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and 24/7 support of industrial control solutions across a wide range of markets.
Fairfield began enrolling its engineers to the programme in 2019 having previously used a two-year part-time degree programme. It is expecting its fifth engineer to graduate in the autumn.
Peter McMorrow, engineering director, said: “Our growth strategy means we need to increase the pipeline of talent every year. By moving to the Siemens one-year degree programme we can fast track the upskilling process of our engineers with industry relevant training content, while the block release approach allowed them time to focus on their studies and condensed their learning periods.
“This accelerated degree option is also now an attractive recruitment tool.”
Jason Phin, training solutions business manager at Siemens Digital Industries, said: “Our ambition has been to create a degree programme covering the range of practical skills and technical understanding that is needed not just in our workforce, but the wider industry, to fully capitalise on the opportunities of Industry 4.0.
“Since its launch in 2017, the degree programme has gone from strength to strength and by the end of the year will have upskilled 79 young and experienced engineers making them industry ready and fully equipped to deal with future technologies.”
The programme is aimed at those at HNC/HND level looking to gain new skills, experience and knowledge and study through to degree. It is available both for apprentices as part of a degree apprenticeship, funded by the Apprenticeship Levy, or as a separate Continuing Professional Development (CPD) initiative for non-apprentices.