University of Ulster prepares for Industry 4.0 with new learning course

Students who participate will receive an apprenticeship salary from the date they start the “game changer” course.

The University of Ulster is partnering with a network of manufacturing and engineering companies in Northern Ireland to launch a bachelor’s level learning aimed at giving students the skills necessary for a career in Industry 4.0.

The Manufacturing and Engineering Growth and Advancement (MEGA) network, made up of more than 60 companies, has partnered with the university with the aim of developing a pool of qualified graduates.

Students who participate will receive a salary from the date they start the course. They will not incur any additional costs in their education.

The program will focus on preparing students for Industry 4.0 careers, with skills in areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence and digitization. The course will be taught by the School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems at the Magee campus of the University of Ulster.

At a campus event last Friday (October 8), Northern Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill officially kicked off the program and met some of the first apprentices.

“The MEGA Apprenticeship Diploma is a revolutionary program that will transform our manufacturing and engineering industry,” said O’Neill.

“It will help the sector to develop, stimulate economic growth and provide people with the opportunity to develop skills that are in high demand. This partnership between the University of Ulster and MEGA is exactly the type of innovative approach that will help harness the enormous economic potential of our digital and engineering capabilities. We are already a global player in these sectors and this program will undoubtedly help consolidate our position as a world leader.

O’Neill also said she was happy with the “regional benefits” the program would offer, calling it a “game changer” course that would allow learners to access higher education at no cost.

At the launch event, students Conor Brattin and Sarah Millar told O’Neill about their plans for the degree.

Millar described degree learning as “a fantastic opportunity” to invest in the future.

“I will be studying robotics and automation at the University of Ulster. These areas are the focus for years to come in this region and around the world, so it’s great to specialize in this area from the start of my career. I am delighted to have the chance to get involved in innovation with MEGA, the University of Ulster and industry leaders who invest in young people like me.

Brattin is apprenticing in robotics at Nugent Engineering as part of the MEGA diploma apprenticeship. He said his experience of learning about robotic cell construction and automation was interesting.

Apprentices will have access to research centers on Magee campuses such as the Center for Industrial Digitization, Robotics and Automation (CIDRA)and the Cognitive Analytics Research Laboratory (CARL).

Applications for the 2022/23 school year were opened this week and will close on January 31, 2022. A virtual open house will take place on November 4 and registration can be done via the Eventbrite page.

Those interested in applying for the course should send their CV, including GCSE math grade and predicted results, to [email protected]

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