Samsung Switches Over with Birmingham Metropolitan
Birmingham Met's rise as a Centre for Excellence
06 April 2012
When Birmingham Metropolitan College began training TV installation engineers for the digital switchover, the college took the first step towards becoming a centre for excellence.
Since the programme started in 2004, the college has gone on to use City & Guilds qualifications to create tailored training programmes for multinational clients.
In 2009, the college’s success in this field brought it to the attention of Samsung UK, which was looking to upskill its engineers and repair staff across the UK. Since then, Birmingham Metropolitan College has worked with Samsung to create training academies at the college’s campuses in Birmingham and Kidderminster. These specialist centres aim to deliver a consistent, effective City & Guilds-accredited learning programme to Samsung’s UK staff.
Building a partnership
Mustafa Shevket, Corporate Development Director at Birmingham Metropolitan College explains how the college used City & Guilds qualifications to develop a bespoke training scheme for Samsung.
‘After being introduced to Samsung, we discussed the skills requirements for their engineers and aligned their needs to City & Guilds qualifications,’ says Shevket.
The partnership has gone far beyond a traditional employer-college relationship, as Samsung funded the creation of dynamic new learning spaces equipped with the latest Samsung technology. The academies feature devices ranging from internet-enabled TVs to tablets and smartphones, enabling learners to not only get hands-on working experience with relevant technology, but also to let them programme applications, should their course cover this.
Samsung has been so impressed with the improvement in training that it has set up a new Domestic Appliances academy at the James Watt campus, and is working with City & Guilds on new apprenticeship qualifications to support more areas of its business.
Samsung Global has since sponsored another new academy at the college, designed to give showroom staff technical skills, and also to help support youngsters through a programming course.
Building a reputation
Working with Samsung has opened the doors for Birmingham Metropolitan College to work with other employers. Shekvet explains: ‘Electronic servicing has dropped off across the country but we’ve developed a niche market, and we’ve been working with Dixons to fill the knowledge gaps of their in-house training.’
The college now runs approximately 80 apprenticeships with Dixons, delivered both at the college and Dixons’ repair centre.
The college’s success with big-name employers has come about because of long-sightedness, networking and being able to align well-recognised City & Guilds qualifications to business needs.
‘When going into partnership with employers,’ explains Shevket, ‘we’re often not looking at the bottom line results for the college, but thinking about how to build our reputation and bring in other businesses – that’s how to ensure long-term success for our college and learners.’