It seems, now, that each time I sit down to write this regular column, I am able to reflect on a month of increasingly significant progress towards establishing the New Model in Technology and Engineering (NMiTE). These are exciting times as we push forward with our plans to put Herefordshire on the international map as a recognised centre of excellence in engineering education.
The high calibre candidates for the role of our Founding President and Chief Executive (otherwise known as Vice Chancellor) have now had the opportunity to visit the county for two days each. During a whirlwind tour they have spoken with the team behind the pioneering proposals; talked to members of the county council; met those involved in fundraising and been introduced to representatives of the business and schools community.
The team behind NMiTE look forward to announcing an appointment before the end of the year.
Meanwhile around 150 people attended a successful awareness-raising event, kindly hosted by Mrs Monique Heijn at Ford Abbey and full of fascinating exhibitions staged by locally-based engineering businesses Collins Design and Build; Qinetiq; Riversimple; C2UK; Schaeffler Automotive; Barrs Court Engineering; PK Engineering. We were also delighted to welcome a senior engineer from Jaguar Land Rover to address the gathering.
Once established, NMiTE will unlock the economic potential of Herefordshire, yet as we work to realise our objectives, we are keen for local engineering businesses, initially those 45 that support us through our Founders’ Fund, to begin to reap early benefits. We’ve had a preliminary meeting with representatives from the University of Warwick, who have pledged us their support, and we are delighted to be working with them to develop a programme to deliver engineering interns to businesses that require them.