Council and businesses back new WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Solihull
This week on Tuesday 21 June 2016 the leader of Solihull Council and key regional businesses came together to show their support for the new WMG Academy for Young Engineers opening in Chelmsley Wood, Solihull in September.
This is the 2nd WMG Academy for Young Engineers, which is unique in their approach to education as they provide the opportunity to gain a variety of skills, which employees are seeking, in addition to core curriculum subjects, with the aim of developing a new generation of young people who are motivated to succeed. These additional opportunities significantly contribute to the improvement of education for students who desire a career in engineering.
Councillor Bob Sleigh leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council attended the event in addition to representatives from a number of key local and national businesses, who are sponsor partners with the Academy, including Jaguar Land Rover, Balfour Beatty and Rolls Royce. They were joined by Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG, Kate Tague, Executive Principal of WMG Academy Trust and Stewart Tait, Principal of WMG Academy Solihull.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, the visionary behind wanting a University Technical College at Warwick, outlined why this is good for the region, and the need for more skilled young people. After a series of short talks, two current students from the WMG Academy in Coventry gave an insight into a typical week of study and why they chose to study there.
There was then an opportunity to tour the new Academy building. The innovative new learning environment has been designed to engage students and generate an excitement for the engineering opportunities that will shape the creation of the high-value products of tomorrow. There is a large workshop area as well as multi-use classrooms, designed to deliver a broad and balanced traditional GCSE and A level curriculum enhanced by vocational and technical qualifications in Engineering.
Councillor Bob Sleigh of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council said:
“Fresh off the back of the launch of The West Midlands Combined Authority’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), it is fantastic to see the WMG Academy nearing completion.
“The SEP sets the blueprint for how the area’s economy will transform over the next twenty years and the academy will have a pivotal role to play in creating the young engineers of the future and maintaining the area’s eminence in automotive and high value engineering. I sincerely hope many of our young people, take up the world class training that will be on offer here from September.”
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG, University of Warwick commented: “In engineering alone we need 150,000 new engineers and apprentices every year to fill the skills gap. The WMG Academy for Young Engineers presents a fantastic opportunity for young people to get a head start on the road to developing those skills. I’m delighted that Councillor Sleigh and the regional businesses are supporting the WMG Academy in Solihull. In this area of the West Midlands there are business that are in need of the skills which students from the Academy can provide.”
Stuart Tait, Principal at the WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Solihull said:
“I feel immensely privileged to have been appointed as Principal of Solihull’s first engineering specialist University Technical College, sponsored by employers, WMG and the University of Warwick.
As an Academy, we will be driven by and passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and will inspire our staff to experiment, be curious and embrace new technology, ideas and learning methods.
“Our vision is ‘business like and business led’ and for our students to be inspired by the relevance and challenge of our curriculum which includes the solving of real life industrial problems posed by our business partners.”
The WMG Academy for Young Engineers is one of 30 “University Technical Colleges” which are government-funded schools that train 14-19-year-olds in science, engineering and technology while they gain traditional qualifications such as GCSEs, A Levels and BTECs. This training is supported by input from local businesses and universities.
The WMG Academy is linked to the University of Warwick and WMG, with a curriculum that has been shaped with the assistance of regional employers such as Jaguar Land Rover and National Grid.
The new WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Solihull is currently taking applications for students to start in September 2016.