Kingston University has joined forces with a leading automotive component manufacturer to launch a Foundation Degree aimed at countering the skills’ shortage in the motor industry. The deal with Delphi Diesel Aftermarket will provide a new generation of fully trained managers and technicians.
The Foundation Degree in Automotive Engineering is run jointly by the University’s School of Engineering at Roehampton Vale and Delphi Diesel’s new training school in Warwick. While two-year full-time study will be available, the first intake of 40 students will complete a four-year, part-time route. The new qualification is aimed mainly at employees working for franchised dealerships and focuses on diesel engineering as a speciality.
Acting Head of the School of Engineering Dr Peter Mason said the course would be made up of 18 modules, covering subjects from service management and supervisory skills to advanced vehicle technology and computer diagnostics. “We carried out a considerable amount of research to get the right balance between academic study and vocational training,” he said. “Because of the busy nature of the industry, we needed to ensure the programme would fit around the work commitments of part-time students.” The collaboration with Delphi Diesel was an important step in enhancing the range and scope of the University’s vehicle engineering provision, Dr Mason added. It built upon the strong network of relationships the School had already established with the automotive industry.
Delphi Diesel Marketing Manager Les Brown said that, although the emphasis was on diesel, the course was open to technicians and managers from all areas of automotive engineering. “The industry is continuing to grow, particularly in sales of diesel vehicles which are being built to higher and increasingly sophisticated standards. There is a real need for more technicians with improved skills,” he said. “This, along with its reputation in the technology education sector, is why we chose Kingston University as our partner in providing the Foundation Degree.”
Students will have the option of moving on to an Honours Degree in Engineering once they have completed the Foundation Degree programme. Both qualifications are recognised by the Engineering Employers’ Federation and the Engineering Council.
Diesel vehicle sales are predicted to account for 30 per cent of the new car market in the United Kingdom by the middle of the decade. With its world headquarters in the West Midlands, Delphi Diesel Aftermarket is part of a global conglomerate with a 195,000-strong workforce and £27 billion annual turnover.