#LoveOurColleges: How is South & City College Birmingham supporting the local engineering industry?

South & City College Birmingham

As part of Colleges Week, South and City College Birmingham highlight how they've been supporting the local engineering industry.

Back in the summer of 2018, South & City College reported on the major investment made to put Longbridge back on the map as the home of engineering, with the opening of a new £545K state-of-the-art mechanical and electronic engineering centre at the Longbridge (Bournville) campus. The facility trains students from Level 1 upwards. Read the full story.

Later that year, a brand-new, innovative engineering course was launched. The Foundation Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering has been developed by South & City College, University College Birmingham and the University of Birmingham. Employers such as Arup, Alstom UK and Ireland, Telent and National Grid have contributed to the development of the unique course, which will boost students’ digital, technical and employment skills, alongside core academic content. The course has two pathways, one in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the other Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering.

“We pride ourselves on the quality of teaching in Engineering – our lecturers have vast experience of the sector and many hold PhD qualifications,” said Mike Hopkins, Principal of South & City College Birmingham.

Another new course was launched in September 2019. The Level 3 Engineering Technician Apprenticeship programme is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain skills as a qualified engineer through the Apprenticeship pathway.

Chris Hayden, from the College’s Business Development Team, said, “We can deliver training on a flexible basis (weekly attendance) which is something unique for the sector. We also tailor our programmes to meet the needs of each employer; whether the apprentice is operating a 3 axis CNC or soldering electrical components, they will learn all the skills they need here.”

This cumulative investment has already seen success, after a group of electrical engineering students won a regional and national trophy back in May and July 2019 respectively. The team also won yet another prestigious award at the third Industrial Cadets Awards, held in London.
This latest award saw the team pitted against all of the Gold Level national winners, so it is a special achievement to have come out on top yet again.

The original competition, working with Network Rail, tasked electrical engineering students with redesigning Birmingham New Street station and improving the ‘onward journey’ for passengers travelling through the city. Read more about our students' success at the Industrial Cadets Awards.

South & City are still investing and another engineering centre is due to open later in October 2020 at our Longbridge (Bournville College) campus. Watch this space.