August 18, 2020 @ 10:40 by Richard Dawson
Newcastle College University Centre has launched a new foundation degree to plug the digital skills gap in engineering.
The two-year course is an FdEng in Engineering with Digital Technologies and has been tailor-made in consultation with companies such as Procter and Gamble, SMD and MSP to meet the demands of a sector in transition.
Margaret Toberty, director of operations at MSP, explained: “As a company that supplies global manufacturers, MSP had a clear stake in this strategic collaboration with Newcastle College.
“Working alongside Newcastle College, SMD and Procter & Gamble fostered a rewarding and unified team effort.
“This foundation degree will be an important step in the future employability of manufacturing graduates in the region, allowing them to align their skills and competencies with the needs of employers.”
The University Centre worked alongside those businesses and its Digital Advisory Board to fine-tune a degree that supports the region’s Local Industrial Strategy for Advanced Manufacturing.
Core course content prepares students to meet the needs of local businesses as firms across the North East seek to embrace emerging industrial digital technology.
The qualification fuses engineering principles with digital know-how to equip a new breed of skilled future employees.
Andrew Esson, director of industrial strategy at Newcastle College, said: “Our industrial engagement has identified a need to create a new generation of digitally enabled engineers to support local manufacturers in the adoption of industrial digital technology.
“We were delighted that MSP, SMD and Procter & Gamble shared our vision and were able to support the development of this innovative new qualification.”
Margaret added: “In a globalised economy, the amalgamation of digital and manufacturing skills is critical to enable graduates to achieve a competitive advantage in their future employment.”
The new degree forms parts of Newcastle College’s continued investment in STEM provision and digital facilities at a time when the region’s workforce is being encouraged to upskill and retrain.