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24th April 2012, 11:20am
Skills minister praises Lincoln’s innovation in Engineering
John Hayes MP with Dr Jill Stewart. Image: John Jenkins Lincolnshire Echo The Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, John Hayes MP, praised the collaboration between the University of Lincoln and Siemens during a visit to the Engineering Hub at the University.

The Hub, opened officially by the Princess Royal earlier this year, is the first purpose-built engineering school in the UK for more than 20 years.

Mr Hayes visited the University yesterday (23 April) as part of a tour undertaken to understand more about the role apprenticeship schemes can play in training the next generation of engineers. During his visit he described the University as being as the cutting edge of Engineering and this being positive for the UK.

He said: “This visit is about looking at how Government, industry and education can work together to service the common good and the national interest.  

“It is vital to invest in training and skills in order for the UK to stay ahead of the game. We need Research and Development in order to be able to do that and today I’ve seen that in practice.

"I'm delighted to be here today and to endorse the good work that's being done.”

Head of the School of Engineering, Dr Jill Stewart, said: “Universities need to contribute to the skills agenda so it is important we support companies such as Siemens in order to help fill the skills gap in the UK economy.

“What we have set up here in Lincoln is unprecedented; we have risen to the skills challenge by creating a new School of Engineering, collaborating fully and openly with one of the world’s leading engineering companies.

“Engineering is a fascinating profession. Here in Lincoln we are creating opportunities for young people to get involved and pursue Engineering as a career option. I believe that Engineering is the wealth creator at the heart of the economy and these young people will be vital to the future prosperity of the UK.”

The venture has been acknowledged by HEFCE  (Higher Education Funding Council for England) as a unique collaboration between industry and education. In November 2011 it received the Lord Stafford Open Collaboration award for a consortium led by a University which emphasises innovation and collaboration with high levels of engagement.  

The purpose-built Hub houses not only academic and practical teaching spaces, but also Siemens’ gas turbine training facility and research and development. The School is focused on producing ‘industry-ready’ graduates able to contribute to the businesses they join from day one.

The School has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) from the European Union and Lincolnshire County Council Single Programme Funding, HEFCE, Siemens and the University.

Mr Hayes’ tour included a visit to Siemens’ factory in Lincoln before heading over to see their operations in Berlin.


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