WMG Academy for Young Engineers open evening visit
The reception and entrance of the WMG Academy is impressive before you even enter
We have an Engineering shortage in manufacturing and it's only getting worse as a whole cohort of Engineers enters retirement; I think WMG Academy is part of the solution.
I have been involved in Engineering professionally since the age of 16 when I left school with a handful of 'O' Levels (GCSEs) and landed a Technical Apprenticeship with a small company developing and manufacturing Turbines for many applications.
I had already been an engineer since I was young enough to bend Meccano though!
I was also lucky to have a brilliant craft teacher at school and we were machining with lathes and millers from about 13 years old in metalwork; now it's viewed as too risky, expensive or adds no value.
This week I was fortunate to visit the WMG Academy for Young engineers in Coventry, they have rolled back the clock to my school years and have a fully functioning workshop with far more sophisticated machinery than we had.
This has all been made possible by the foresight of WMG, part of Warwick University and the facility sits on the boundary of the campus.
I was shown around by one of the first year students immaculately dressed in a business suit with collar and tie of course; this is the standard of dress for the pupils. No badged uniforms here but business attire is required, this is an establishment aimed at developing young people with an engineering bent into the engineers of the future.
After the tour of the classrooms, workshop, IT Lab, science, CAD workshop and other areas we were given a short presentation by the Associate Principal Matt Brady, he explained the mission of the Academy, what is required of prospective students (8.30-16.30 days) and the challenge required of them to achieve their best.
It's not an exclusive offer aiming to cherry pick the brightest students, he presented an inclusive environment for young people who are interested in an Engineering career.
Some had graduated to be taken on by one of the WMG partners that support the academy whilst others had taken up degree courses with universities; one 16 year old had taken his project course work along to an interview with a university.
They were amazed as they said the mechanism he produced would usually be covered by a third year university graduate!
Page shot from the WMG Academy Prospectus showing a young engineer at work
The parents and children present all had their questions answered and Matt made sure that everyone that had any concerns about transport or other issues was satisfied.
I was there to see the facilities and to offer my help from a STEM Ambassador point of view.
It would be great to be able to assist the next generation of Engineers, especially as I work in a niche area of Production Engineering currently not covered in their curriculum.
Hopefully I will get to present some information on proactive and predictive engineering, that can also integrate with some lifecycle studies in their thought processes.
WMG Academy for Young Engineers is a brilliant facility and I hear that there is another one underway already. If you ever get the chance to visit or have a budding engineer then this is the place to consider.
Another page from the prospectus with a Jaguar as the focal point of the reception area
Many thanks to WMG Academy especially the young engineers and Matt Brady for an interesting hour and a half.