East Coast College adds to its educational engineering provision in response to employer demands

Published:  23 July, 2020

East Coast College has announced it has added to its already vast array of engineering courses this year to cement its place as the region’s leading educational engineering provider. The courses on offer range from commercial apprenticeships levels 2 through to 6, Full time Level 2 and 3 courses and A Level equivalents and degrees.

The courses outcomes offer students a multitude of opportunities for their next steps, either in terms of learning and further education or direct routes into employment. The college has long been supported by local employers working hand in hand with them to develop courses and skills that are required to support the future workforce. This is understandable with the college dedicating nearly half of its eight hundred apprenticeships to engineering and local industry from which 99% of students go directly into employment.

“The opportunities to the local community have never been stronger, investment in world class facilities can only strengthen our position in being the standout choice for anyone wanting a career in engineering and its related fields.”

Alan Wagner, curriculum manager engineering

New courses for September include apprenticeships in project management, pipe fitting and boat building as well as a new foundation degree course in Energy and environments and a bespoke engineering programme alongside A levels at L6FC delivered at the sixth form college in Lowestoft. The Merchant Navy Training board (MNTB) are also working with the college to support them in hosting Deck Cadetships for young people seeking a career within the maritime industry.

In addition to this funding has been secured for phase two of the Offshore wind centre at the Great Yarmouth campus. Initially founded and opened in 2018, the Offshore Wind Centre is widely recognised for its outstanding outcomes following 76% of its delegates going on to gain employment within the sector. Phase two is the result of a further £250,000 in funding achieved through industry sponsorship from Scottish Power Renewables and a grant from the Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils which has been match funded by the college.

“The college embraces the opportunities that it can provide employers in the region. Courses are tailored to ensure that we can meet current and future demands of the sector”.

Rachel Bunn, assistant principal apprenticeships and employer engagement

Industry partnerships have been built into the success of the college’s engineering provision with the Lowestoft-based energy centre also partnering with industry titans Maersk and Total Solutions to deliver industry-specific training. Local employers and organisations such as Doosan are continuing to offer ongoing relationships with the colleges students by putting them through the recruitment process with a view to developing the skills pipeline for Hinkley C in the future. The energy Skills foundation programme is supported through EEEGR and its members through activities such as site visits, speed interviews and guest speakers.

A strong emphasis on work placements across all Further Education provisions has led to statistics well above the national average for student employment following their qualification award. Ongoing work with the Ogden Trust throughout lockdown has offered remote work placements and continues to offer existing students the chance to work together and be supported by peers within this transition phase.

The college has worked hard throughout the Covid-19 lockdown to offer ongoing support to the students who have become so familiar with work placements, workforce engagement and career interactions. There has been virtual work experience, employer engagement in the form of seminars and job preparation along with weekly seminars delivered by industry organisations such as EEEGR (East of England Energy Group) that have been opened up to the students.

Ongoing demand from local businesses and students alike will see the college continue to invest in its provision and variety of courses.

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