Dudley College of Technology and the Black Country & Marches Institute of Technology partner with Next Gen Makers to help engineering companies’ future-proof skills


Chief Executive and Principal of Dudley College of Technology Neil Thomas, with Next Gen Makers Managing Director, Adam Tipper

Dudley College, together with the Black Country & Marches Institute of Technology, of which it is a key stakeholder, is the most recent vocational college to sign an educational partnership with Next Gen Makers.  

Next Gen Makers supports engineering and manufacturing companies in the UK in attracting and retaining top-tier talent through benchmarking and sharing best practices as part of their Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme. In addition, it acknowledges exceptional employers for engineering Apprenticeships via a national employer Kitemark accreditation, championed by leading manufacturing organisation Make UK. 

Dudley College and Next Gen Makers will work collaboratively to help companies to benefit from accessing the Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme and employer Kitemark. This will allow them to improve their Apprenticeship schemes, deliver the best possible apprentice experience and become more appealing employers for aspiring engineers. 

The partnership will also see Next Gen Makers support Dudley College in reducing the cost of training for the next generation of engineers by providing exclusive discounts off industrial consumables via their business partner; MSC Industrial Supply Co.UK. Dudley College will be able to tap into the vast engineering expertise of the MSC engineering team and Technology Centre, ensuring that engineering tutors stay updated with current knowledge and adhere to industry standards. 

Neil Thomas Chief Executive and Principal of Dudley College of Technology said: “We are committed to offering employers access to the best apprentices and apprentices’ access to jobs with the best employers, who will support their learning both on and off the job, so this partnership makes sense. By working closely together we hope to bring some of the technical expertise of MSC staff into the classroom, so that apprentices are benefiting from the most current business practices, allowing them to add more value in their own workplaces. “ 

Adam Tipper, Managing Director at Next Gen Makers adds: “We are very pleased to announce Dudley College of Technology and the Black Country & Marches Institute of Technology as our latest educational partner and look forward to developing a close working relationship with the engineering and apprenticeship teams at the college. Our focus is firmly set on proactively collaborating to benefit to the engineering firms that choose these two organisations as their engineering training provider. 

“The UK engineering skills shortage is well known, and the sector is also being adversely affected by apprentice retention issues. This is a result of apprentices feeling unsatisfied with the quality of their experience within the apprenticeship scheme at their employer. 

“However, engineering firms within our Engineering Apprenticeships: Best Practice Programme are bucking this trend via benchmarking and best practice sharing, learning from the successes of other engineering apprenticeship schemes across the UK, and improving their own as a result. Through this partnership, we aim to help more manufacturers to benefit from this knowledge sharing”. 


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