Neida is a precision manufacturer of turned and milled components with headquarters and distribution located in Stoke-on-Trent and its Neida Blue 62 production facility situated on the Isle of Wight.
Staff development is a priority at Neida – which is why the company has announced that it will sponsor Neida Blue 62 process engineer Drew Macarthur through a Bachelor with Honours degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing at the University of Portsmouth.
After completing a BTEC Level 3 extended Diploma in Engineering, achieving triple distinctions in June 2019, Mr Macarthur took the decision to extend his higher apprenticeship through an HND engineering course also at Portsmouth University.
Originally, a week of work experience at Neida Blue 62 Isle-of-Wight cemented his decision to commence an HND in Mechanical Engineering course run by Isle of Wight College (CCEAAM). This course covered the fundamentals of engineering sciences, theory, and management. Mr Macarthur has been continuously mentored and supported throughout his apprenticeship by the team at Neida Blue 62, with hands-on experience of multiple disciplines from setting machines to estimating new projects. The hard work paid off earlier this year when he graduated with a Merit HND in mechanical engineering.
"The opportunity to continue my studies with sponsorship from Neida will enable me to achieve an industry-recognised qualification within a leading turned parts manufacturing company, without the debt of student loans,” Mr Macarthur enthused.
In October this year, he began a Bachelor's with Honours degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Portsmouth – only possible with sponsorship from Neida. The modules will include the study of materials and engineering systems, design and sustainable development, and quality management.
He will focus on robotics and automation in manufacturing for his dissertation project, calling on support from market leaders and innovators in robotics technology: “So far we’ve had great support from a number of leading companies and organisations, with special thanks to Fanuc, Mazak and the MTA for their help to date,” Mr Macarthur commented.
During his studies, he also enrolled as a STEM Ambassador, supporting and promoting the engineering sector to local students in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight: “This is an exciting time for technology, and I hope my work with local schools and colleges will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers," he added.
Neida believes that the key to closing the ever-increasing skills gap is nurturing an interest in engineering in young people. The business runs a successful apprenticeships scheme employing three to four apprentices every year alongside the continuous training and development of employees via upskilling and reskilling.