An innovative training solution from Siemens and Salford University has achieved a major milestone by upskilling its 100th engineer.
The one year top up degree programme gives young and experienced engineers a BEng Hons (Bachelor of Engineering) in Control and Automation.
Launched in 2017, it was co-designed and co-delivered by Siemens Digital Industries and the University of Salford and 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.
It has now upgraded the existing qualifications of 100 personnel from within Siemens and 38 global companies and SMEs from various industry sectors in the UK, including Jaguar Land Rover, Unilever and GSK.
Vince Goodall not only completed the top up degree while juggling work and family life but graduated with a First Class Honours. He now works as a field-service engineer with Siemens’ Customer Service Motion Control in Manchester.
“Balancing family life, work and studying at the same time was difficult at times," he said. "I was also in the final year of my apprenticeship whilst completing the top up degree, so this was a very demanding year at work completing a lot of additional training and proving my competency in my future role."
The top-up degree programme has evolved since its launch in 2017. When it was launched apprentices could take up the top-up degree in their final year but now there is a mix of degree apprentices and those taking the degree as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) exercise in academic upgrade.
Jason Phin, training solutions business manager at Siemens Digital Industries, said: “I am delighted we have reached such a major milestone. Our ambition was to create a degree programme that taught a range of practical skills and technical understanding fit for future manufacturing, not just for our workforce, but the wider industry.
“It’s fantastic that six years on there are 104 Industry 4.0-ready engineers embedding their new skills in workplaces across the UK.”