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NMITE’s first-ever cohort secures manufacturing jobs

The curriculum is hands-on and project-based, ensuring that students gain real-world experience from day one

Posted on 10 Jul 2024. Edited by: Tony Miles. Read 340 times.
NMITE’s first-ever cohort secures manufacturing jobsThe New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE) has reached a significant milestone in its history with its first students entering the workplace

Among the first to complete one of NMITE’s innovative degrees are individuals who have secured impressive positions in industry at Balfour Beatty, KIER, Mondelēz International and Oakwrights showcasing the effectiveness of NMITE’s unique educational approach.

NMITE set out with a mission to revolutionise engineering education and took in its first students in September 2021. Located in Hereford, it offers forward-thinking ‘Integrated Engineering degrees’, NMITE’s curriculum is hands-on and project-based, ensuring that students gain real-world experience from day one.

James Newby, NMITE’s president and chief executive, expressed pride in the soon-to-be graduates. He said: “Our first cohort of graduates represents the culmination of years of dedication and innovation in engineering education. Their success is a testament to NMITE’s academic rigour and unique learning model, which emphasises practical experience, problem-solving skills, and close collaboration with industry partners. Our students were willing to accept the challenge of joining a new institution and they, like our staff, have worked incredibly hard to turn our model into a reality. With the first NMITE graduates out in work, we are sure our reputation and influence will continue to grow.”

Among those celebrating the achievement is Tom Newton, engineering and design director at Balfour Beatty. He said: “This is an incredibly proud moment for everyone at Balfour Beatty. Over the last 12 months we have actively contributed to the NMITE curriculum through our partnership, with a number of our experts supporting teaching modules, outlining what it takes to work in our industry. With the first cohort of students now entering employment, the proof is in the pudding — alongside our colleagues at NMITE, we have successfully delivered what we set out to do, opening doors to young people and arming them with the tools needed to excel in their careers.”

Founding principles

NMITE students are now taking up a variety of positions locally and nationally and demonstrate
how NMITE has lived up to its founding principles — welcoming people with diverse backgrounds who show the potential to succeed as engineers. Introducing four of these new engineers, NMITE believes it is poised to continue shaping the future of engineering as it proves its long-awaited graduates are indeed what the modern workforce has been holding out for.

Fin, originally from NMITE’s home county of Herefordshire who previously studied primary education, has landed a coveted role as an engineering and manufacturing graduate at Mondelēz International. Reflecting on her journey, she said: “I never considered a career in manufacturing until I participated in NMITE’s project-based challenge on the subject. The feedback I received during my job interview was overwhelmingly positive, particularly highlighting my experience at NMITE and my ability to solve real-world problems.” Fin will graduate from NMITE with an MEng (Hons) Integrated Engineering degree.

Elise, who will be joining Balfour Beatty as a graduate engineer, has had a much longer relationship with NMITE, having been part of the Design Cohort in 2018. This group of 25 school-leavers and graduates from around the world co-designed NMITE’s learner experience in support of its aim to become a university for and of the future. The Cohort helped to create and test-drive everything from campus layout to course design, marketing NMITE’s engagement programme, and building partnerships with businesses.

Elise then joined the first cohort as student number one. She said: “From being part of the original design cohort to now graduating and achieving my dream of working in engineering, NMITE has been an incredible journey. The support and hands-on learning environment have truly prepared me for this role.”

Elise believes NMITE will continue to adapt and change in the future — “it is in the name. I think NMITE’s new model will never fall into habits but will always strive for innovation and excellence.” Elise will graduate from NMITE with an MEng (Hons) Integrated Engineering degree.

Nurturing talent

Tom Newton, engineering and design director at Balfour Beatty said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Elise to Balfour Beatty in the coming months, where I am confident she will thrive.”

Another soon-to-be MEng Integrated Engineering graduate is Toby Street who also joined NMITE in 2021 and has decided to stay in Herefordshire following his original move from home in Devon. He will be working for the nationally recognised local firm, Oakwrights as a graduate trainee.

“During my studies at NMITE, I realised that my passion for technology hardware and software aligns perfectly with opportunities across various sectors, including construction. Not only have I found a job that resonates with me on many levels, but I am also very keen to stay in Herefordshire. One of NMITE’s goals has wanted to attract talent into the area and I am personally committed to supporting NMITE by staying close.”

Kimberley, who has already been awarded a BEng (Hons) Integrated Engineering degree, has taken a role as a section engineer at KIER. Kimberley’s journey showcases another innovative element of NMITE’s approach to lifelong learning and career transformation when it set out to offer exceptional educational opportunities in engineering and technology for trailblazing students who want to change the world. “After completing my undergraduate degree in business and working in the automotive trade, I wanted to follow my passion for civil engineering projects. NMITE provided the perfect place to transition into this field, and I am thrilled to be doing a job I love.”

The first graduates underscore the value of NMITE’s mission to bridge the gap between traditional engineering education and the demands of the modern workforce. By offering an accelerated MEng degree, alongside a BEng, students are not only able to enter the workplace earlier, but it also allows those who may not be able to afford the traditional Masters route access to a degree that promises to leave them work-ready. These soon-to-be graduates are already showcasing their readiness for real-world challenges, with more success stories to follow in the coming months.