One of the region’s leading business organisations is backing a new academy for young engineers which will
open in Coventry next year.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) formally endorsed and supported the WMG Academy for Young Engineers at its board meeting.
The WMG Academy, which is being built in Mitchell Avenue, Canley, will cater for 640 students from years 10 to 13 from September 2014 and is being supported by business partners Jaguar Land Rover, Prodrive, SCC, National Grid, Tata Motors, Squires Gears & Engineering, Automotive Insulations, Bosch, Dassault Systèmes and the University of Warwick.
Sir Peter Rigby, chairman of the CWLEP, said students would leave with skills which were needed by automotive, manufacturing and engineering companies across the sub-region.
“We have identified the skills gap in the engineering sector in Coventry and Warwickshire as part of our City Deal bid and the WMG Academy for Young Engineers is a positive step in providing young people with the technical and employability skills that companies need,” he said.
“The academy will focus on encouraging young people to learn to problem solve, show leadership, creativity, teamwork, communication and design skills as well as their entrepreneurial spirit.
“These are all vital attributes which are needed to ensure automotive, manufacturing and engineering companies thrive in the future for Coventry and Warwickshire to maintain its reputation as a world-class leader in these sectors.
“The CWLEP is focused on improving skills, innovation, productivity and jobs, and the academy is a step forward in narrowing the gap to provide employers with the workforce they need to take the engineering, manufacturing and automotive fields forward in Coventry and Warwickshire in future decades.”
Dr Richard Hutchins, Director of the WMG Academy and board member of the CWLEP, said employer involvement was paramount which was why the backing of the CWLEP was crucial.
He said: “With the help of the CWLEP, we will be able to promote the academy to prospective students, their parents and the business community.
“Employers will be involved by providing mentoring, projects and visits as we prepare students to be this area’s next generation of engineers, manufacturers and automotive specialists.
“The graduates of the academy will possess skills which are relevant to employers because the teaching will be business-like and business-led and our business partners have had an input into the curriculum.
“We are confident the academy will provide the inspiration to encourage and train the engineers of tomorrow that we need to continue to push the boundaries of development in these exciting industries.
“We were delighted to recently attract more than 600 people to our first taster day, and our plans are moving forward encouragingly.”