PES Blog: Why we’re supporting the new UTC Sheffield

Engineering Student - UTC Sheffield

The demand for engineering in the UK is currently on a massive rise and there is a scarcity of qualified and good quality engineers available for businesses like ours

Part of the problem is the public’s perception of what an engineer does. There’s still a hang up that engineers just fix cars and washing machines, and are covered in oil most of the time, which is very, very far from reality.

As engineers at PES we work with the latest technology, in a clean office environment, with supercomputers and the latest equipment to develop our clients’ products. It’s all very high tech, with lots of innovation.

We are however finding that many of the graduate engineers and young engineers currently coming out of education lack the practical skills & the ability to apply the knowledge they’ve learnt.

This autumn Sheffield will become home to one of the first University Technical Colleges in the country, offering specialist courses designed with employers in Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing and Creative & Digital Media.

Whilst students aged 14 to 19 will study an academic curriculum – GCSEs and A Levels – alongside their specialist courses, the main difference is that all academic learning will relate to employer-led projects, and students will gain the skills and qualifications they need to open up opportunities for jobs and university courses in their specialist subjects.

The Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing specialism at UTC Sheffield will provide students with the knowledge and skills to work across this diverse and growing sector, from aerospace to electrical, from robotics to CAD.

Students will learn in state-of-the-art facilities including engineering mini-factories that will simulate the real manufacturing environment, high-spec prototyping workshops, sophisticated machine suites, and advanced Mac-based design suites.

We believe that the UTC will provide a much more hands-on approach to engineering, where students will learn both the skills and how to apply them in real world situations. Students like this will help make a massive difference to our business. We will be working with the UTC by discussing Design Engineering with the students and also setting them a number of engineering design projects during the year.

We’re looking to bring on young engineers and to develop them within the company but we’ll also require the higher level knowledge-based skills that universities will provide. We anticipate taking on a mix of students coming through places like the UTC as well as graduate engineers from university.

With prospects for engineering in the UK looking strong for the foreseeable future the UTC Sheffield is set to play a key role in providing the future workforce to help drive forward the region’s advanced manufacturing economy.

(I was interviewed recently on this subject by Radio Sheffield. Hear both parts of the interview here; PES Radio Sheffield Pt1 & PES Radio Sheffield Pt2).

— Dan




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