Much of the success of Lotus is thanks to the skills of its workforce, not least the hard work of the engineers who make innovative ideas into reality. Which is why the company is delighted to be involved in training and nurturing the next generation of engineering stars by partnering with the new Norfolk University Technical College (UTC), opening in Norwich in September 2014.
The flagship college, located in a 5,400 square metre former factory, will provide a unique workshop-based education environment designed to develop the next generation of advanced energy and engineering talent.
Norfolk UTC will offer a dedicated focus on science, technology, engineering and maths delivered to 600 learners from 14-19 in a 21st century work-based environment, and Lotus is one of three major employers in the region to be involved.
The company’s support will include shaping the curriculum and teaching methods, providing valuable insight for students into the working world and guidance on careers in automotive and motorsport engineering and the wider industry.
John Vigar, Continuous Improvement Manager at Lotus, is one of five Norfolk UTC board members and will be closely involved in the development, opening and running of the college.
“This is a unique opportunity to be involved in a brand new way of educating young people who have an interest in developing practical skills for future careers,” said John. “Traditional schooling doesn’t always offer the chance to develop these enthusiasts; I believe Lotus is an ideal partner for a college which will provide the perfect environment to develop skilled, qualified and work-ready students for the region’s industries.”
Dick Palmer, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) Group, is leading on the creation of the college alongside City College Norwich, the University of East Anglia, in partnership with other leading regional companies Gardline and Future Marine Services.
He said: “Norfolk UTC will give students access to innovative education delivered through what we call ‘Technical Challenges’. Students will learn through both academic and practical discovery in a work-based environment to achieve vocational qualifications, as well as GCSE and A-levels. We want to give our students the choice to move on to Higher Education, Apprenticeships or straight into the world of work. Our students will graduate with the qualifications and practical skills that leading employers in this region have been calling for.”
“Half of the space in the college will be given over to a materials, testing and energy area, and non-technical areas will allow students to split their time between R&D and a Design Centre and honing their skills in business development, working with employers and connecting day-to-day learning with the industries they hope to work with in the future.”
The Norfolk UTC is set to shake up education in the region and, potentially, find the next designer of an award-winning Lotus car!