Global engineering giant Siemens has revealed it is ‘vital’ to keep feeding its talent pipeline with the best problem solvers from Northampton College as bosses look to plug the skills gap hitting the industry.
The commitment to apprenticeship schemes comes on the back of two Northampton College students winning the chance to spend time on work experience at Siemens base at the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) in Kings Heath, Northampton.
Level 3 Mechanical Engineering students Lewis Henry, aged 19, and 17-year-old William Dunkley will have the opportunity to impress managers at the pioneering facility and get fast-tracked to the apprenticeship assessment centre – where they can secure a permanent role working on the latest technology being rolled out across the railways.
Dan Walker from Siemens said: “We have seen a lot of older employees leave the industry through retirement and take their experience with them. It’s difficult to find young people to replace them and that has created a huge skills gap.
“By teaming up with Northampton College and identifying their star students at a young age we can begin to feed that talent pipeline with the type of people we need, good problem solvers with a commitment and determination to work hard. It’s vital we find those people to keep pushing forward.”
Having completed his two-year course at Northampton College, Lewis is now set to progress to the University of Nottingham where he will study civil engineering.
William is returning to Booth Lane for the second year of his course and will undergo a work placement with Siemens.
He said: “It’s a fascinating industry and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to see the latest technology which is being used right here in Northampton to revolutionise the railways.”
Among the projects William will have the chance to work on is the European Rail Transport Management System – a new form of signalling being rolled out across the UK’s rail network.
He will also make use of state-of-the-art virtual reality headsets to gain a greater understanding of the component parts which go into the engineering of train carriages.
Tutor Neil Tobin said: “Having this facility on our doorstep here in Northampton can only be a good thing for our students and we look forward to building a long-lasting relationship with Siemens.”
For more information on engineering courses available at Northampton College, visit www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk.