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Case study

“Earn whilst you learn!.”

Jason Phin MIET DF Apprenticeship Services Manager

Organisation: Siemens – Digital Factory Process Industries and Drives

Sector: Manufacturing

Author:  Jason Phin       

Location: Manchester

Scheme title: Degree Apprenticeship – Control/Tech Support Engineer

Duration: 4-5 years

Age groups involved: 18+

Introduction to the company 

Siemens is the world’s single-source leader of automation technology products engineered and manufactured for all industrial sectors.

How does the scheme work?

This is a 4-5 year degree apprenticeship programme that consists of: -

  • Comprehensive employee induction
  • Block release off-the-job foundation skills training at our partner college
  • Placement rotations that expose our apprentices to different engineering departments and roles whilst building up on-the-job skills
  • Internal automation training courses
  • Final placement in one of many roles we seek to recruit into such as:
    • Field Service Engineer
    • Technical Support Engineer
    • Automation Project Engineer
    • Internal Sales Engineer
  • An academic pathway leading to a BEng (Hons) in Control & Automation
  • Mentorship throughout the scheme
  • IET membership

How do you collaborate with universities or schools?

We have established an academic pathway from HNC through to degree through a tri-party relationship between ourselves, Trafford College and the University of Salford.  We have a strong relationship with Trafford College where we have sponsored a room that contains our branding and equipment such as PLCs and HMIs.  We have also supplied the college with CPD support for their lecturers and low voltage equipment used in the foundation training that benefits not only our apprentices but those from other companies and that full time students benefit as well.  The top-up degree is the result of an innovative collaboration that incorporates the Siemens Certified PLC Programmer accreditation as part of this qualification. 

All apprentices are encouraged to become STEM ambassadors and regularly attend schools careers events in order to promote engineering careers, especially the apprenticeship route. 

How do apprentices benefit?

An apprenticeship is a great way to increase knowledge and skills through both academic and work based learning.  The ability to take what you learn at college and in some case using it instantly in the workplace is a big advantage in retaining knowledge.  Being an apprentice also has a benefit in learning how to conduct themselves in a working environment that full-time study cannot give.  This work based exposure give us, as an employer, the ability to embed our culture of Excellence, Innovation, Responsibility and well as Zero Harm.  Apprentices are also employees which means who not only benefit from earning whilst they are learning, but also access to other employee benefits such as pension, employee assistance programme to name but a few.  

How does the organisation benefit?

There have been many facts put together that show the benefit of apprentices to their organisations, these include: 

  • The average apprenticeship improves productivity by £214 a week
  • Apprenticeships are a tried and tested way to recruit new staff and can  also be used to re-train or up-skill existing staff
  • As an Apprentice Levy paying organisation, funding is available to support our Apprenticeship programmes
  • Apprenticeships can help tackle skill shortages
  • Learning can be done in the workplace, minimising disruption and maximising impact
  • Apprenticeships are a great way of attracting enthusiastic talent with fresh ideas
  • We can tailor the content of what is required to complete the framework or new standard requirements to specific job roles, making them flexible to the needs of our business
  • Apprenticeships provide us with the skilled workers we need for the future
  • Apprenticeships can help reduce staff turnover, by increasing employee satisfaction and loyalty

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