UK’s first robotics qualification launched

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

EAL has launched the UK’s first Level 3 vocational qualifications in robotics and automation to help businesses meet the demands of Industry 4.0. The certificate will allow engineers to install and repair robotic machinery themselves without relying on robotic manufacturers.

The EAL Level 3 Certificate in Robotics and Automation has been developed in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, 30 of its supply chain employers and Birmingham Metropolitan College. The qualification includes the installation and maintenance of robotics, programmable logic controllers, process optimisation and innovation in automation. It is part of the Skillman project, funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme aiming to increase advanced manufacturing and future skills.

“This qualification is critical to meet the UK’s future skills needs in robotics as robots become a regular part of the workplace,” said Alison Parkes, managing director at EAL. “It gives companies independence in managing their systems and will undoubtedly save time and money as well as enhancing productivity.

“We had many of the UK’s leading automotive supply chain companies involved in the development to ensure this qualification meets business needs. The qualification is relevant for a wide range of sectors that are using robotics – from retail to aircraft manufacturing to food processing – and not just for larger organisations. It’s been designed for any small business with an automated process.”

The UK is predicted to make £4.7bn of investment in robotics by 2021 and the need for qualified engineers is becoming even more pressing. An estimated 1.4 million robots will be working in industry by 2019 while the number of robots being shipped to homes and businesses across the world every year could more than double to 6 million by 2019.

According to the British Automation and Robot Association, the density of robotic numbers is 170 robots per 10,000 employees in Germany while in the UK it is just 33.

Rita Davey, skills programme manager at Jaguar Land Rover said: “We identified a skills gap around robotics and automation and needed a dedicated qualification to support engineers as robotics becomes a greater presence of UK industry. We’ve brought in our supply chain partners to help develop the new certificate so that it meets the needs of SMEs and is useful to the wider engineering and manufacturing sector.”

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