TO MARK this week’s National Apprenticeship Week (4 – 8 March), an international engineering association announced it is forming the first academic partnership agreement with a further education college in the UK.
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), which has 92,000 members globally, attended the Hunslet Campus of Leeds College of Building on Tuesday (5 March 2019) to launch the partnership. The agreement, usually reserved for higher education institutions, is designed to advance the capabilities of the next generation of engineers.
Until now, ICE academic partnerships have allowed undergraduate and postgraduate students to complete part of their professional engineering training while studying at university. Now, students at further-education level will be able to access the same pathways and professional qualifications.
During the launch event, five ICE ‘QUEST Technician Scholarships’ were awarded to top Apprentices at Leeds College of Building (Ruth Watson, William Rose, Tim O’Connor, Joshua Clarke, and Chris Meredith) and one to a student from Leeds Beckett University (Amy Farrell).
Penny Marshall, Regional Director for ICE Yorkshire and Humber, said: “This exciting new agreement opens up opportunities for students to engage directly with industry. QUEST Scholarships are a sign of true excellence. Winners need to be both good leaders and team players; with ambition, determination and the ability to act and think independently.
“The 2019 scholars are all very talented and deserving winners. Their enthusiasm, determination and dedication clearly impressed the panel of judges. There’s no doubt they all have promising careers ahead of them.”
Vicky Patterson, Curriculum Manager for Technical and Professional Apprenticeships at Leeds College of Building, said: “Since being named as BTEC Apprenticeship Provider of the Year in 2018, Leeds College of Building has solidified its position as a leader in the sector. Now, getting chosen by ICE for the first ever UK college academic partnership agreement, we are in a better position than ever to go above and beyond our normal duties to enhance the Apprentice’s experiences and ensure that we produce the most creative and brilliant young Technicians and Engineers of the future.”