Nelson and Colne College’s University Centre has launched a brand new Engineering qualification – one of the most industry-relevant courses of its kind.

The new BEng top-up honours degree means a student can study a full Engineering degree at the University Centre for the first time, either part-time or full-time, and this is validated by the University of Cumbria. Alternatively the degree can also be studied as part of a Degree Apprenticeship.

The course has been created with extensive consultation with a number of leading local engineering companies and it is designed around challenging students to think on their feet to develop advanced problem-solving skills to overcome issues that they could very realistically face working in a demanding engineering environment.

Higher Level qualifications offered through Nelson and Colne College’s University Centre – situated on the College site just off Junction 13 of the M65 – are local to learners, affordable in comparison to going to university and flexible through delivery methods, meaning it is easier for individuals and businesses to upskill.

John Parker, 25, who works at Euravia in Kelbrook as a Repair and Tooling Technician, has a Manufacturing Engineering background and was one of those at the front of the queue to sign up to the course this week.

He said: “I’ve previously done a HNC and a Foundation Degree and from a personal point of view, I saw the BEng as a great opportunity to complete my education, but also professionally to help my career progression in the future, particularly if I want to go into more of a managerial role.

“I really liked the fact that the course content is more relevant to jobs in this area and is more focused on problem solving real life issues in a working environment.”

Victoria Peel, 21, was another student keen to enrol at the launch. Victoria, who works at Johnson Matthey in Clitheroe as an Electrical Maintenance and Instrument Technician, has already completed a HNC and a HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering through Nelson and Colne College’s University Centre.

She said: “It has been a personal choice to progress on to the BEng course but my employer has always encouraged me to stay in education for as long as possible.

“I really enjoyed the HNC and HND qualifications at Nelson and Colne College, the course content was very good. The tutors are also professional and informative and if you ever have any issues or questions they are answered straight away.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of the BEng course as it’s a step up from anything I have done before and I’m hoping that it will open doors for me in the future in terms of my career.”

Steve Wright, Director of Higher Education at Nelson and Colne College said: “We’re delighted to launch our new BEng top-up degree and we anticipate the qualification will deliver the kind of problem-solving and critical thinking skills in employees that employers in the local engineering and manufacturing sector have been crying out for.

“Currently, approximately 30% of jobs in Pendle are in the engineering and advanced manufacturing sector, yet only a fifth of working age residents in Pendle are qualified to Level 4 or above, which is well below regional and national averages.

“A lack of skilled employees impacts on the ability of businesses to thrive, and this was a key factor behind the launch of our University Centre at the college in January 2017.

“The launch of this BEng reaffirms our commitment to supporting and strengthening the local economy and we would welcome businesses in the engineering sector to take a serious look at this course to upskill staff to enable them to overcome potentially complex problems and help them with issues such as succession planning in the future.”

Nelson and Colne College’s University Centre also offers a range of Higher Level and Degree Apprenticeships and these are validated by the University of Cumbria.

There is still time to enrol onto the new BEng course. To study it as a degree, please contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440212 or visit www.nelson.ac.uk for more information. To study it as a Degree Apprenticeship, contact Nelson and Colne College’s Apprenticeship Team by email at apprenticeships@nelson.ac.uk or call 01282 440319.