Local employers shape future of engineering industry with South Essex College

STAFF from the Faculty of Applied Science & Technology held the first Engineering Employer Forum at the Thurrock Campus of South Essex College recently.

The group is an opportunity for automotive, electrical and mechanical engineering employers to meet other employers and industry professionals, talk to the College about the needs of the industry and how our courses can meet them, and to feedback their expectations of the College in terms of bespoke courses or other initiatives which would benefit their businesses.

Employers such as Tilbury Power Station and Essex Country Council attended the first meeting discussing a wide variety of topics from employers views on what they need from qualifications, how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects can be promoted to female school leavers, promoting different routes into engineering careers, to how the group can work to promote and create an awareness of logistics careers and the opportunities locally.

There was discussion on how young people can be enthused by engineering and convinced it is not just seen as an ‘oily rag’ industry. One of the employers said the College’s use of summer school courses was ‘brilliant’ and encouraged the College to go further in its use of such taster opportunities which the College is now taking on board.

Claire Gavaghan, Head of Faculty for Applied Science and Engineering, said: “This is an informal group of professionals from industry and education meeting together with a common goal of enhancing all aspects of engineering and providing opportunities for local people.

We have all agreed that the Forum will be chaired by an employer to remove any possibility of perceived College bias. This is a genuine meeting of minds and the first meeting was incredibly positive and is moving us forward collectively. I am sure the Forum will grow in size and influence.”

The Forum will meet at the beginning of each term with the next meeting scheduled for August 2012. If you are an employer interested in contributing to this group please contact Clare Gavaghan on 0845 52 12345 or email Claire.Gavaghan@SouthEssex.ac.uk

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