Coventry University working with Ford apprentices to engineer a path to leadership

Mickey Etches

Mickey Etches, a learner on the Chartered Manager level 6 course who has been working at Ford since 2006.

University news / Business news / CU London

Monday 19 February 2024

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The first classes of the Chartered Managers and Senior Leaders apprenticeship courses delivered from CU London for Ford Motor Company are already making an impact on learners’ lives, both personally and professionally.

Ford teamed up with local logistics giant DP World and the emerging London Southend Airport, plus Basildon Borough Council, to create a new higher education delivery programme called South Essex Advanced Technical Skills (SEATS) in 2023 and asked CU Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Coventry University, to help to bring technical skills to South Essex.

There are currently 40 Ford students studying for a degree or master's degree at CU London campus and the learners say it is helping them in different areas of their lives.

Mickey Etches is a learner on the Chartered Manager level 6 course and has been working at Ford since 2006. When the opportunity came along, he had recently got engaged to his partner and saw it as a good way to top up his learning before life gets busier, building a good foundation for opportunity for the future. While Mickey has been benefitting from the networking the apprenticeship involves and learning presentation and public speaking skills, he also said it has made a difference to his life outside of work.

In my spare time I’m a Campanologist which means I ring church bells and I’m also a roadie for a band. Thanks to this apprenticeship, I am looking forward to getting more involved with the organisation of events and gigs with both and I know that I’ll be more confident now as the apprenticeship has really helped with my management and leadership skills. There are a lot of things I have recently learned that really could have helped me in the past.

At Ford I secured patents for innovative engineering solutions which have helped me achieve a recent promotion. I believe that to make the next step in my career I should develop management and leadership skills and so, the Coventry University Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship is the perfect opportunity to engineer my ‘5 years to leadership’ plan with my supervisor. Furthermore, these cross functional skills are helping me lead a team of Campanologists at a local church, it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience all round.

Mickey Etches

Coventry University Apprenticeships offer flexibility to its customers, which means that employers will not have to wait until September to send its learners on a new course. Instead, courses will run from January, May and September each year with a growing list of available courses coming online.

Securing a contract with CU Services Ltd is a significant milestone for SEATS, allowing training to get underway this year and therefore helping to meet the requirements of local businesses and close long-standing skills gaps in South Essex.

John Tabor, Business Operations Manager at Ford Motor Company and Chair of SEATS Board

An expanded Degree apprenticeship offering is currently under development with local businesses with delivery planned to commence in Q3 2024.

Employers across South Essex are invited to enquire about the new training programmes which are now available or contact SEATS by email.