Engineers in the making

Festo hosts local education authority's launch of Diploma in Engineering.


On the evening of Thursday, March 6, 2009, Festo GB hosted the launch of a new Diploma in Engineering at its
Brackmill headquarters. The launch ceremony was attended by 29 students from four schools in the area who had expressed interest in the new qualification, together with parents and representatives of local educational establishments.

The new Diploma in Engineering – which is open to all Year 9 A* to C grade GCSE students – is being introduced by the local education authority. Designed and developed by employers, the qualification brings a new level of excitement to personal attainment by blending the best of academic and applied learning.

The Diploma in Engineering will be taught by local partnerships of schools, colleges and businesses, and will help individuals to gain vital engineering knowledge and skills which they can use straight away in employment or as a stepping stone to higher education, such as studying engineering at degree level.

The Director of Northampton 14-19 Collaboration, Nick Pyke, spoke in detail about the course and made the
point that, "This new diploma is an extremely valuable attainment for students – it is worth up to seven GCSEs.
Initially, we are only offering it to a small number of students because we want to monitor progress closely to
ensure that we get things right. But judging by the interest shown by students in the area, we are likely to consider rolling it out to a larger group over time."

Philip Wallington from Kingsthorpe College and Austyn Beeching-Smith from Northampton College both stated that they were very pleased at the introduction of such a high-level engineering course. Outlining the various modules that would be taught, Austyn Beeching-Smith said that "The diploma was not an 'easy' option for students, but involves considerable engineeringrelated maths and science study".

Gary Wyles, Managing Director of Festo GB was pumped: "We were delighted to host this event. By the end of the evening, I'm fairly certain that everyone present was convinced that a career in engineering is well worth pursuing!"

Back

World Skills