Following an appeal by the construction industry, Solihull College is leading the way to increase the number of skilled female engineers in the West Midlands. Introduced this autumn, the new qualification backed by a global civil engineering firm, is being taught at the College’s Woodlands campus.
The new Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction and the Built Environment, which is taught by an all-female team, has been created in consultation with Solihull-based environmental building services consultancy Couch Perry and Wilkes LLP and civil engineering giant Atkins Global.
The request by Couch Perry and Wilkes LLP to work with the College in building a qualification was made to address the prevalent skills gap in the Midlands among young people, and for the College¢¢¢s help to produce employable young people who understood employer’s needs.
With a recent drive to encourage more women into construction and engineering, it is hoped the College’s new approach will breathe life into these industries. The all-female teaching team consists of: a chartered civil engineer, a lecturer with a degree in construction engineering and Rosa Wells, an Aerospace lecturer who has an engineering background.
In addition to teaching, Rosa also paved the way for the new qualification, she comments: “The construction and engineering industries here in the Midlands are currently struggling for skilled workers. We see the new HNC as the first step and with an all-female teaching team; in what is perceived as a male dominated environment, we hope we can inject the industry with new ideas and an exciting new energy. It is also a fundamental step as we are actively helping to invigorate the local economy for the future generation”.
To encourage learners to adapt to new skills, the HNC will be moving away from the usual level of assignments and lecturing, to make way for more team working, work-based and communication skills to enhance their technical knowledge. There is also a drive to encourage greater communication between the construction and engineering professions.
In addition, the new HNC will have a positive and direct impact upon the College’s input to Birmingham’s close involvement with Birmingham’s HS2 college. Solihull College is part of the Technical Apprenticeship Consortium (TAC) who will be designing parts of the HS2 rail link; included in the consortium alongside the College are Arup and Atkins Global who have called for a higher number of Civil and Construction Engineers. It is due to this request that the College’s new HNC can help feed the need for more skilled workers. We are the preferred supplier by the TAC.
For more information about Higher Education, University level courses please visit the apprentice area for more details at www.solihull.ac.uk/University Level Learner Courses