Responsive Engineering Teams Up with Newcastle College to Create Unique Degree

March 14, 2017

front row L to R, Geoff Newcomb, Programme Leader, Newcastle College; John Reece, Chairman, Reece Group; Alison Reynolds, Head of HR, Responsive Engineering; and Paul Johnson, Head of Engineering, Newcastle College

Responsive Engineering has teamed up with Newcastle College to help employees gain a head start in their careers.

The Foundation Degree in Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering (FdEng), specially tailored for Responsive, will equip participants with a wide-range of industry skills.

The two-year course has been designed to meet the needs of modern industry and training and will take place both in Newcastle College’s multi-million-pound engineering facilities and at the firm’s base in the Armstrong Works on Scotswood Road.

As part of the new collaboration, Newcastle College students and other partners have visited Responsive to gain valuable insights into life inside a manufacturing facility.

Part of Reece Group, the firm provides innovative manufacturing solutions to clients across the globe in a diverse range of industries including subsea, oil and gas, renewable energy, nuclear, rail, construction, and defence.

Head of HR at Responsive Engineering, Alison Reynolds, said: “We’ve had a tremendous response and there’s a real buzz about the course. We are pleased to be working in partnership with Newcastle College to offer our employees this great opportunity to further develop their skills and support their career development.”

Dan Townsend, Responsive Engineering

Foundation Degrees are qualifications that are designed in collaboration with industry to ensure local and wider higher education and training needs are met. They are set at QCF level 5 which is equivalent to an HND or the first two years of a Bachelor’s Degree.

They allow for direct entry onto top-up degrees which are the final year of a Bachelor’s Degree.

Paul Johnson, Head of Engineering at Newcastle College, said: “The qualification has been designed to enhance employees’ knowledge in the areas of mechanical and manufacturing engineering which are most relevant to the needs of modern industry.

“The modules have been made to expand on a wide-range of skills and expertise in the areas of mechanical science, machine tools and fabrication, project management, maths, engineering design, and mechatronics, as well as build on previous learning and experience to develop higher level analytical, critical thinking, problem-solving and employability skills.”

Dan Townsend, Responsive Engineering, with Ricky Cadogen, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle College and former Responsive welding apprentice

Dan Townshend, 25, joined the firm as an apprentice nine years ago and is one of 10 employees to enrol on the new course. He now works as an inspector, ensuring Responsive’s products meet the highest of standards for customers.

Products he has worked on over the years include mine rollers that have been used to save the lives of armed forces personnel and civilians in conflicts around the world.

He said: “My apprenticeship helped me to develop the key skills I needed for a career in engineering while working on the shop floor. But there are then lots of opportunities to progress into other roles.

“Now the Foundation Degree is helping me to take those skills on to the next level and I’m really enjoying it so far.

“I’d like to go on to do a full degree and then get more involved with the design side of engineering.”

Dan Townsend, Responsive Engineering, with Ricky Cadogen, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle College and former Responsive welding apprentice.


Photos by David Charlton Photography