SIEMENS: enhancing learning in schools - Business in the Community

SIEMENS: enhancing learning in schools

This BITC member only case study outlines the partnership between BITC member Siemens, a German multinational conglomerate corporation and Crewe University Technical College.

This case study outlines the partnership between Business in the Community (BITC) member Siemens, a German multinational conglomerate corporation and Crewe University Technical College.


SIEMENS has been in a long-term partnership with Crewe Engineering and Design University Technical College (UTC) since 2016. SIEMENS works to inspire young people to choose STEM subjects and pursue related careers. The UTC takes students aged 14-18 from the surrounding secondary schools to pursue specialist training in engineering and design alongside curriculum subjects taught in all mainstream secondary schools.

SIEMENS works with the UTC as it provides the opportunity to engage with students who already have an interest in engineering. The company can further engage the students in learning relevant to its business and inspire apprenticeship or university choices directly relevant to a future career with SIEMENS or its supply chain.

Download the case study to find out more about how SIEMENS and UTC engage with students who already have an interest in engineering. SIEMENS can further engage with students to inspire apprenticeships or university choices that would be directly relevant to a future career with SIEMENS

Curriculum integrated actitivies

Initially, SIEMENS was asked by the UTC to provide site visits and talks. As the relationship grew, SIEMENS offered to develop activities integrated into curriculum delivery.

  • For Years 10 and 11, this involved the ‘OCR Process Control Systems qualification’ and the Cambridge Nationals Systems and Control
  • For Years 12 and 13, it related to the Technical and Vocational Qualification (TVQ AQA)

The course modules required students to gain insights into the engineering environment including using relevant hardware and software.

Training in industry standard software

Both year groups received training in SIEMENS SIMATIC TIA Portal software which is an industry-standard and an example of OCR R115/R116 Process Control Systems required for their qualification. A SIEMENS volunteer provided weekly practical sessions during lesson time to train them how to use SIEMENS SIMATIC TIA V16 software and KAFTEN and LC Learning hardware.

Testing software skills

To test their software skills and see their application, SIEMENS donated frequency inverters and their accessories, enabling students to undertake projects in mechatronics. Students explore material handling and how it can reduce labour intensity and cost.
SIEMENS has also documented all of the training into workbooks. The company spent approximately 200 hours providing the supporting documentation and training videos for the UTC to use with students between weekly face-to-face sessions. The volunteers provided a mix of full group sessions and small group sessions.
To complement the activity, SIEMENS also ran site visits so students could see hardware and software working in practice and meet the teams working at the SIEMENS site in Congleton.

SIEMENS hosts regular site visits in conjunction with the support provided during weekly lessons. During the pandemic, this moved to virtual visits. UTC Crewe students in Year 11 receive factory tours which are part of their curriculum activities for ‘Process Control Systems’. The students gather information during the factory tour to fulfil the elements in their curriculum tasks including:

  • Barcodes
  • RFID
  • Design, manufacturing, and testing
  • Robotic elements used in the manufacturing process
  • Automation
  • 3D-Design (VR-Cave)
  • System test
  • Career opportunities at SIEMENS
  • Factory tour or virtual factory tour
  • Guest speakers

Factors for success

SIEMENS and the school reviewed the effectiveness of their partnership and wanted to deepen the impact of the time being invested by existing volunteers. SIEMENS is committed to co-create curriculum content and support the delivery of training and work-related learning each week.

Find out more in the case study as to how teachers are the experts in identifying the experiences relevant for the qualifications and were able to guide SIEMENS in terms of what real-world technical expertise would be relevant.

Business in the Community’s work on employment and skills

Business in the Community (BITC) supports organisations to create meaningful employment. This is one of the most significant ways that business contributes to individuals’ and communities’ livelihoods and is the only sustainable route out of poverty for many.

Offering quality work experience, adopting new recruitment approaches, and breaking down barriers to entering work for people from disadvantaged groups can benefit business by tackling skills shortages, building new talent pipelines, boosting retention rates, and achieving higher productivity.

Next step

Business in the Community’s (BITC) Community Advisers support businesses to create a skilled and inclusive workforce by embedding essential skills and building successful education partnerships through our Business Class framework. Our advisers can also work with you to design and develop sustainable and impactful initiatives to build stronger relationships within your communities.

Contact our Advisory Service Team to find out more