New Head of Craft Engineering urges more industry specialists to teach

The new Head of Craft Engineering at Furness College has challenged people to turn their hand from trades to teaching as he takes up his appointment.

Mick Sutter, who will lead the engineering department at the Channelside campus from January, said his move to education has been rewarding beyond measure.

As he officially takes up his role, he urged other industry professionals to consider helping to train the next generation of engineers to help fill the skills gap.

“The year 2022 was always a key point in time when the engineers’ skills shortage across the UK would reach two million people,” he said. “That’s not just this area but around the country so we have a responsibility to ensure we have people with the right skills to match the needs of businesses across South Cumbria.

“We are always on the lookout for new talent in teaching, particularly in the craft and technical engineering spaces, and I would urge people to take a leap of faith and find out how you can use your skills to help others keep our rich history of engineering in this area thriving.”

Mick served an apprenticeship in Merseyside and set up his own electrical company at the age of 21 before diversifying into home and commercial security. He trained as a physical training instructor and successfully completed a teaching qualification, starting as a lecturer in engineering at Furness College in 2013.

“I started here as a lecturer in electrical engineering,” he said. “But I’ve been in the students’ shoes because I served an apprenticeship. I’ve sat in that chair and I can see how times have moved on in industry and how what we teach is so relevant to today.”

The college offers qualifications from apprenticeships and engineering Level 1 to 3 through to degrees and honours degrees in engineering. A new T Level in Engineering and Manufacturing, equivalent to three A Levels, starts in September 2022. The college works with organisations ranging from BAE Systems, Siemens and Orsted to smaller companies in the supply chain that are crucial to engineering in this area.

“Being able to pass your knowledge and experience to other people is a real gift,” said Mick who aims to establish the college as a Centre of Excellence for engineering. “When you have stood in front of students in the classroom and they have put their trust in you to be able to learn all these skills and then you see their achievements it is very rewarding.”

Furness College has a range of careers available for people to transfer from industry to teaching, it is particularly interested in hearing from anyone who wants to train as a mechanical or electrical engineering lecturer. For more information see furnesscareers.co.uk.

Photo: Furness College’s new Head of Craft Engineering Mick Sutter has urged people to consider a move from engineering industry roles into teaching to pass on valuable skills and knowledge.

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