News - 03 April 2014

Derby College Appoints New Apprenticeships and Engineering Director

Derby College has appointed the former Learning and Development for Apprenticeships Manager from Rolls-Royce plc as Director of Apprenticeships and Engineering.

Neil Fowkes studied at Mackworth Tertiary College, which is now part of Derby College during his apprenticeship, and has worked in engineering for the past 27 years initially at International Combustion and then Rolls-Royce.

As lead for apprenticeships and workforce development at the global business, Mr Fowkes has worked in partnership with Derby College for many years and latterly in the development of apprenticeship programmes for the company which is hailed as a business model of excellence and rated as outstanding in all areas by Ofsted

Derby College Chief Executive Mandie Stravino explained that Mr Fowkes had joined Derby College to drive through the development of engineering and apprenticeship opportunities at the College.

“Our core objective is to work with employers to ensure the training support that Derby College provides – whether at College or the workplace – meets their needs both now and in the future and provides them with the skills to be competitive and grow.

“Neil’s credentials of working with a global business and understanding employers’ training requirements will be invaluable as we develop our engineering curriculum for future decades and embrace the needs of businesses large and small.”

Mr Fowkes, who is Derby born and bred and lives in Littleover, explained: “I am joining Derby College at an exciting time both for the organisation and the regional business community.

“Engineering and manufacturing is expanding in the city and beyond but employers face widespread skills shortages with their established workforce heading towards retirement.

“Employers are going to find it increasingly difficult to find the skilled staff that they need to retain and improve their competitive edge. Young people and particularly apprentices will become increasingly important to their business across all sectors as the pipeline of talent for future growth.

“And the challenge and opportunity for Derby College is to work more closely with employers to support them in the recruitment, training and development of these young people.

“The College is committed to expanding its apprenticeship programmes and its engineering provision to support employers’ needs both now and in the future.”

Source: Derby College

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