Wigan and Leigh College partners with Heinz to offer new engineering course
The College will deliver a tailored qualification allowing existing mechanical and electrical engineering staff at the Kitt Green site to gain a multi skills qualification.
Developments in the food manufacturing industry have created a requirement for engineering staff to have multi-discipline skills allowing them to be able to deal with both electrical and mechanical maintenance to ensure the plant and systems run smoothly.
Vice Principal, Alison Rushton said: “This innovative programme is the result of a close working partnership between the College and Kraft Heinz and forms part of a suite of training solutions.
"We are delighted to be supporting such an important local employer, developing their workforce skills and providing a talent pipeline of young people for their business.”
The bespoke course which will be delivered at the college’s Centre of Excellence in Engineering at the Pagefield Centre will benefit 48 engineering staff from the company.
Training and Development Manager at Kraft Heinz’s Kitt Green site, Marianne Thomson said: “With the pressures on businesses these days it is vital that we look at how we drive efficiencies, this is a perfect example of this in cross skilling our engineering workforce.
"Not only does it drive time efficiencies, it also strikes at the heart of engaging our employees in giving them this amazing opportunity to upskill. This is purely voluntary, so the fact that 48 employees have stepped forward to take this chance means it is a strong endorsement of what we are trying to achieve.
“We at Kraft Heinz could not have done it without a partnership from Wigan & Leigh College and Greater Manchester Combined Authority who have released vital funding to support this innovative and important upskilling program.”
The course, which started in February, initially for a group of eight employees will continue in block week learning with the new intake coming each month over the course of the next five to six months and will be delivered by industry expert tutors from the college.
The college has invested heavily to develop this specialist strand of its engineering manufacturing provision which includes the creation of a specialist training room with electrical maintenance rigs to ensure the course supports the demanding food industry standards.
In addition, Wigan and Leigh College opted to undertake the rigorous approval process set out by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD) and were delighted to have achieved approved provider status.
NSAFD is an industry recognised qualification that employers within the food industry require.
The college has also employed a number of highly experienced industry staff to deliver the programme.
This collaborative initiative follows a traineeship programme designed for eight care leavers, who are currently gaining valuable work experience at the factory, in sections including can production, raw goods manufacturing and sterilisation areas, alongside gaining skills to make them job ready at the College.
Some will soon gain the opportunity to be interviewed for apprenticeships within the company.