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Institution supports engineers and employers with professional registration

IMechE News team

Engineers at Baker Hughes
Engineers at Baker Hughes

Companies and organisations around the UK supporting professional registration for apprentices and graduates have been recognised by the Institution recently.

Baker Hughes: celebrating 17 years of MPDS

The Institution recently recognised the Monitored Professional Development Scheme at Baker Hughes in Aberdeen.  Bob Ross CEng FIMechE, Director of Technology at Baker Hughes, welcomed Sandra Mulligan, the Institution’s Business Development Manager for Scotland, to present a certificate for the accredited scheme which has been in operation since the late 1990s.

Bob commented: “Baker Hughes was founded just over 100 years ago.   We design test and manufacture equipment for oil and gas wells all over the world.  Baker Hughes employs almost 60,000 people globally with annual revenues in excess of $21billion.

“Our manufacturing plant here in Aberdeen has just celebrated 40 years in operation. The initial engineering group was just two. We now have 46 people on the engineering team out of a total of over 300 people on site.  Of the 46 team members nine are registered on MPDS 412 which has now been running for some 17 years.”

Heritage engineering needs a skilled workforce

The UK has an impressive heritage of road, race and rally cars. Worth £4.8 billion, the UK industry employs over 28,000 people; it is popular with both enthusiasts and the general public. Keeping these classic racing cars in good working order relies on a group of enthusiastic, highly skilled engineers, and The International Guild of Specialist Engineers is keen to recognise the skills of these people and make sure that the next generation of engineers is being nurtured.

“To ensure classic cars of today are here tomorrow, we need to recognise existing technical experts and develop the engineers of the future”, said Roger Waters, Training Consultant to the Guild.

In contrast to the mainstream automotive industry, this sector has many small garages often with just a handful of technicians focused on just one brand or technical specialism. The workforce have typically learnt ‘on the job’ after originally being trained on modern vehicles, and despite being highly skilled have no formal qualifications or recognition for these additional skill they have gained.

The Guild has put together an advanced modern apprenticeship scheme that is specifically designed for engineers who carry out classic car maintenance and restoration. Delivered by Babcock International, the apprentices from the Guild’s member companies will embark on a three year programme with 24 weeks’ block release study, workplace assessments and web based learning. The course covers traditional motor vehicle technology, but based on historic cars and race technology. In addition there will be six weeks for specialist training on skills on the technology and crafts only found in this sector of the industry. These short courses will also be open to other members of the Guild who are keen to upskill in particular areas.

The Guild is working closely with the Institution to ensure that the scheme is accredited. This will allow the engineers to be recognised and progress, as well as having an equivalent status and qualifications to those working in other industries. The first intake of apprentices will start later this year.

Eddie Hoare, Chairman of the Guild, said:  “The launch of the International Guild of Specialist Engineers Restoration Apprenticeship Programme is the culmination of a year’s work by the Guild to provide a first-class opportunity for young people to join this valuable and inspiring profession. We are delighted to have Babcock International as our training partners and excited at being able to offer much needed training opportunities for youngsters wishing enter the exciting field of classic car maintenance, restoration and racing. What makes it even more exciting is the need for new blood, in this traditionally mature working environment, is as strong as the need that our young people have for jobs. This is indeed a very exciting time for our industry”.

For more information or to apply for apprenticeships visit: http://tigose.com/

Professionally registered engineers at FordFord: supporting graduate engineers benefits the whole company

The Institution has recently awarded a certificate to Ford accrediting the company’s monitored professional development scheme (MPDS). The scheme has been running since September 2012 and has over 30 developing engineers and nearly 20 mentors. Graham Hoare, Executive Director at Ford, accepted the award on behalf of the company and said that: “Having the scheme up and running means that Ford is ready to offer fantastic opportunities to graduate engineers at the start of their career.”

The scheme has strong support from the senior managers in the company, and Dr Robyn Pritchard FIMechE, a senior engineer at Ford, was responsible for the drive and detailed work that was needed to design the scheme, ensure accreditation and recruit the first batch of applicants. Ford has lined up an impressive bank of mentors for their new trainees: indeed, there has been no shortage of volunteers amongst the young managers and senior engineers to help nurture the talent in these bright young engineers.

Morale has been boosted by the company’s clear commitment to the development of the next generation of engineers and investment in the long term future, through graduate recruitment and the MPDS. An influx of new talent has given flexibility to the work force, enabling some to change areas and broaden their experience, supporting Ford’s commitment to high quality engineering activity.

Ford is an active supporter of the Institution and has found the accreditation of its MPDS helpful in recruiting and retaining the best young engineering talent. The company is also extremely supportive of the Institution’s Essex Automotive Division, which brings links to other automotive engineering companies in the area. Andrew Fraser, who is Chairman of the local centre, and himself a senior manager within Ford powertrain engineering, observed: “The company is very generous in supporting the automotive division by hosting lectures, membership events and providing speakers for presentations and seminars both locally and at HQ. In return, Ford benefits from having engineers who are at the forefront of the latest technology and best practices across the industry.” 

EDF Energy’s accredited graduate training scheme is recognised

Institution CEO, Stephen Tetlow, and Business Development Manager Alan King recently visited EDF Energy’s Gloucester offices to recognise the work being done by the company to promote professional registration through its accredited graduate training scheme. It was also an opportunity for Stephen and Alan to gain an appreciation of the current issues faced by the energy sector and to help understand how the Institution can best support the sector through the services they provide.

The visit was hosted by John Hart FIMechE, Industrial Liaison Officer for EDF Energy and consisted of a variety of discussions to help Stephen gain an insight into the nature of EDF Energy’s business and their interactions with the Institution. This included a meeting with Matt Sykes, Chief Nuclear Officer, a question and answer session with a selection of mechanical engineering graduates and a discussion with a number of EDF Energy staff who are active members of Institution committees and interview panels.

The Q&A session with the graduates was an interesting two way discussion and they enjoyed the opportunity to learn at first hand the Institution’s position on a wide range of topics including climate change, the contribution of new nuclear build to closing the UK energy gap, STEM and the status of professional engineers. One of the graduates, Ben Robertson, noted that he: “Found the visit interesting and informative thought it was also a great chance to share our view of the world and the Institution from the working level, based on our recent experiences of university and early professional development with EDF Energy.”

Stephen Tetlow commented on the high degree of professionalism amongst the graduates whom he hoped would continue to develop EDF Energy’s excellent engineering capability.  He observed: “Through Alan King, Business Development Manager for the south west of England, the Institution is delighted to be working so closely with the EDF team on all levels of professional registration.  EDF Energy is a clear industry leader in its approach and is a blueprint programme for other organisations to aspire to.”

Summing up the success of the visit, John Hart said: “It has further strengthened the well-established links between EDF Energy and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Stephen’s positive feedback is valuable recognition of the commitment of EDF Energy and its mechanical engineers both to gaining professional registration and actively engaging with their professional institution.”

Want to find out how to get professional registration support for graduates and apprentices at your organisation? 

For graduate schemes, visit: http://www.imeche.org/membership/employers-and-accreditation/company-accreditation

For apprentice schemes, visit: http://www.imeche.org/membership/employers-and-accreditation/apprenticeship-scheme-approval

Alternatively, contact a business development manager in your region: bdm@imeche.org

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