Solihull College & University Centre has stated they are delighted to appoint former Programme Manager for Engineering, Rosa Wells as their new Director of Employment and Skills.
Rosa began her career as a trainee in Aerospace Manufacturing and successfully completed an industry sponsored MEng in Aerospace Manufacturing. Rosa then moved across the Channel to France to work in Aerospace Research. Upon her return to the UK she took up a role in Aerospace teaching and after 10 years of teaching a number of colleges across the UK, Rosa was appointed as Programme Manager of Engineering at Solihull College & University Centre.
Rosa stated “I was determined to ensure that the engineering department was responding to industry requirements, creating a flexible curriculum which was well resourced and provided clear progression routes for a more diverse group of apprentices. With enrolments growing five-fold and employer partners tripling, feedback from engineering apprentices indicates that they value their experience of studying at the college and it has enabled them to be more successful within their working roles.”
Whilst working at the College Rosa has managed to develop a number of successful programmes including: Partnerships with Women in Science and Engineering (WISE); the Engineering Development Trust (EDT); and Engineering UK. As well as this she has worked with Professional Engineering Institutions to support apprentice development and improve schools engagement meaning that Engineering employers are able to share their apprenticeship opportunities with a more diverse audience.
Due to her success within her role, specifically within apprenticeships, she has now been appointed as the Director of Employment and Skills for the College.
Rosa comments “I am extremely proud to have been appointed to lead Employer Engagement at Solihull College & University Centre. I aim to engage effectively with curriculum teams to ensure that the college confidently embeds and continually improves employer and stakeholder relationships and planning for apprenticeship and skills development.”
As Rosa is the current lead on the WISE West Midlands Hub she plans to incorporate hubs priorities into her new role and expand partnerships between industry role models and local schools to ensure that a more diverse STEM workforce is recruited. Rosa states “Diversity if essential to fill the skills gaps that exist in the region and improve productivity.”
Joan Smith, Director of the Solihull Chamber of Commerce also commented on the importance of closing the skills gap and Rosa’s appointment, commenting “I’ve already been working with Rosa on the WISE project for almost a year. One of my passions is the skills gap, especially in the engineering sector, where there is a need to raise awareness about recruiting more women. I am very excited about working with Rosa in the coming months and years.”
As well as aiming to close the skills gap Rosa has the aim of investing in equipment across the College to ensure the facilities are of an industrial standard to enhance to learning experience of apprentices and students at the College.
Rosa concludes “With the launch of a new funding strategy for apprenticeships in May 2017, I am looking forward to working with employers in the region to enable them to establish effective plans for recruitment of new apprentices and upskilling existing staff. I have been working with the employer group panel who have been designing a degree apprenticeship for Civil Engineering. I will bring this experience to my new role and I am working to ensure clear messages are communicated to employers of all sizes in relation to the changes in government and funding guidance. I am passionate about engaging with all sectors and types of employer to ensure clear and useful apprenticeship progression routes are available which are relevant to the industry in which they are working. I will work with key stakeholders in the apprenticeship landscape to feedback and contribute to the development of new apprenticeship standards working closely with our employer partners.”