A new agreement between the University of Wolverhampton and a leading automotive company has been forged to develop new training opportunities.
ZF is a worldwide supplier of driveline and chassis technology and Darlaston-based ZF Lemforder UK Ltd plans to develop an in-house training centre.
The company will work in partnership with the University and Walsall College to design and accredit a series of courses that could lead to vocational qualifications and University awards.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sealing the relationship was signed by Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise Professor Ian Oakes; Jatinder Sharma, Chief Executive of Walsall College; Terry Somerfield, Managing Director of ZF Lemforder UK Ltd and Fiona Turner, Personnel Manager at ZF Lemforder UK Ltd.
The courses will include operator training, both on and off the job, leading to qualifications such as NVQ Engineering, and work-based Masters degrees and doctorates.
The University will work with ZF Lemforder UK Ltd to recruit a recent graduate to develop the planned training centre and Walsall College is also set to support the company with the delivery of their apprenticeship programme. The new initiative will provide opportunities for work placements for College and University students and ZF Lemforder UK Ltd will be able to provide input into curricula to ensure courses are suitable for the needs of today’s businesses.
Professor Ian Oakes said: “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with ZF Lemforder UK Ltd, sealing this exciting new relationship as part of our commitment to business and enterprise.
“By the end of the two-year project ZF Lemforder UK Ltd will have a training centre and an agreed suite of courses in place as well as a strategic plan for future staff development.”
Terry Somerfield, Managing Director of ZF Lemforder UK Ltd, said: "We have worked hard to secure new and follow on business from our key customers and with this agreement between the University of Wolverhampton and ourselves, we are confident that we have engaged a strong partnership that will support the up skilling of our already committed workforce to deliver a quality product to our customers."
Jatinder Sharma, Principal and Chief Executive of Walsall College, said: “Walsall College is committed to working in partnership with local companies and organisations to bring new opportunities to the area. We are thrilled to have signed this agreement, which will give ZF Lemforder UK Ltd the ability to further up-skill staff and support the development of its future workforce.”
The in-house training centre will be based on existing successful models within the automotive industry and other sectors.
All courses will provide opportunities for work-based projects, designed in conjunction with ZF Lemforder UK Ltd to ensure activity is directed at organisational as well as individual development.
ZF is a leading worldwide automotive supplier for driveline and chassis technology with 121 production companies in 27 countries. ZF is among the top 10 companies on the ranking list of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide.
Picture: Seated L-R - Fiona Turner, Personnel Manager at ZF Lemforder UK Ltd and Terry Somerfield, Managing Director of ZF Lemforder UK Ltd; Standing L-R - Jatinder Sharma, Chief Executive of Walsall College and Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise at the University of Wolverhampton Professor Ian Oakes.
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