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WMG Academy for Young Engineers at the University of Warwick

Today’s announcement by Education Secretary Michael Gove, which saw the proposed WMG Academy for Young Engineers at the University of Warwick named as one of several successful University Technical College projects to be approved under the government’s academies programme, has given the green light for the creation of a state-of-the-art new school close to the University of Warwick campus. The new school will be designed to provide young people who have an interest in engineering with a better way of learning and realising their ambitions, and will deliver a richer array of educational and employment opportunities to young people and to the local economy.

Supporters of the new school want to create an educational experience that is more relevant to young people’s lives, more relevant to the way they learn and more relevant to the world in which they will have to make their living. As a dynamic, business-led and progressive institution the WMG Academy for Young Engineers will be designed to take a transformational approach to nurturing successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and sought after employees.

The new school will deliver the national curriculum, but will adopt a unique approach to the task, focusing its expertise on a range of engineering-based disciplines. Following a unique programme of study designed with input and expertise from major employers such as Jaguar Land Rover, National Grid and SCC, and smaller businesses such as King Automotive Systems and Automotive Insulations, pupils will be able to take a problem-solving, practical approach to learning, approaching key subject areas via their application to real-world problems.

“Sustaining our manufacturing excellence will determine whether or not the UK can compete in the global market place over the next 50 years and beyond. In order to stay ahead of our competitors we need to create jobs and put more value back in engineering and manufacturing. We have some of the best companies and supply chains in our local area, and they all desperately need new talent and skills to help them grow. That is why the WMG Academy for Young Engineers at the University of Warwick is so important. It will reach a younger generation, engaging them in an innovative new learning environment and exciting them from cradle to grave about the opportunities in engineering and the creation of the high value products of tomorrow,” said Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman, WMG.

University of Warwick Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift commented: “The WMG Academy for Young Engineers at the University of Warwick will provide an innovative new education opportunity for young people in Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull. The University of Warwick provides high-tech support to the many international companies and small and medium sized companies in our region and this initiative will help us to share some of the excitement and intellectual challenge of that high technology knowledge transfer with our region’s young people.”

Backed by over 40 local institutions including The University of Warwick, Jaguar Land Rover, National Grid, SCC, King Automotive Systems, Automotive Insulation and around 40 other businesses, schools and business organisations, the WMG Academy for Young Engineers will offer places to 640 students aged 14-19 from the Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull areas and is scheduled to begin teaching in September 2014.

A company responsible for developing and running the school has already been set up. Members include WMG, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, West Midlands Manufacturing Consortium and EEF. There will be a Board of governors which will include Jaguar Land Rover, other businesses and other key stakeholders

Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Dr Ralf Speth added: "The growth of Jaguar Land Rover can only be sustained if we and our suppliers can find the right people with the right skills. The WMG Academy for Young Engineers will be right on our doorstep, and is being led by WMG, which is already at the heart of our collaboration with universities on research and development and developing high level skills in our workforce. It will help to address very important issues at the beginning of the educational cycle, namely exciting young people about careers in engineering, and developing the pool of talent which we can all rely upon for future generations to come."

Roger Whittall, Head of nearby Westwood Academy said: “The Westwood Academy welcomes the opportunity to become a core partner with the WMG Academy for Young Engineers and develop a strong, active and vibrant relationship to benefit all stakeholders and the wider community.”

For more information and to register an interest in learning more about the WMG Academy for Young Engineers please visit our website.

Notes to editors

Kelly Parkes-Harrison, Press and Communications Manager, University of Warwick, K dot E dot Parkes-Harrison at warwick dot ac dot uk, 07824 5401863, 02476 150868

Lisa Barwick, WMG Communications Manager, University of Warwick, (L dot Barwick at warwick dot ac dot uk), 02476 524721, 07824 540845

WMG was founded by Professor Lord Bhattacharyya in 1980 to help reinvigorate UK manufacturing. From its inception WMG's mission has been to improve the competitiveness of organisations through the application of value adding innovation, new technologies and skills deployment, bringing academic rigour to industrial and organisational practice. An academic department of the University of Warwick, the group started small - just an office, the Professor and his secretary. Today it is one of the world's leading research groups. Over 450 people work across four buildings on the Warwick campus (with a fifth under construction) plus collaborative centres in six countries with an annual programme of £140m which includes industrial and in-kind support from companies such as Jaguar Land Rover.

WMG Academy for Young Engineers at the University of Warwick will deliver a business-led and business-like education focussed on engineering and applied digital technology for young people aged 14-19 in the local area.

Students will benefit from an imaginative and personalised approach. Each student will be able to progress at a rate that suits their individual learning styles and enables them to focus on achieving positive outcomes.

A business-led curriculum is being designed in response to extensive consultation with local, regional and international employers and with higher and further education partners.

The curriculum will challenge, place high expectations and positively transform young people so that they are able to achieve their full potential as effective leaders, employers, employees and entrepreneurs, as well as effectively respond to an ever more rapidly changing world.

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