Merlin Entertainments breaks ground with inaugural engineering academy

Merlin Entertainments has announced the launch of its brand-new Engineering Academy. The visionary initiative, set to debut initially in the UK, offers an unparalleled platform for nurturing the theme park engineers of tomorrow as well as providing training opportunities for current engineers to upskill.

Bridging knowledge and innovation

The Merlin Engineering Academy marks a significant leap forward in the field of engineering education. The cutting-edge three-year programme, tailored for aspiring engineers who dream of crafting the world of entertainment, will kickstart with a cohort of 12 apprentices this year, with plans for expansion in subsequent years. These apprentices will delve into an immersive learning journey that combines in-depth theoretical knowledge with hands-on practical experience. The Engineering Academy will also offer comprehensive training programs specifically designed to empower Merlin’s existing engineers with the knowledge to upskill and excel in their careers. The field of engineering is constantly evolving with new technologies and methodologies emerging regularly and the new Engineering Academy will allow Merlin’s engineers to receive the latest information to remain relevant and effectively apply the latest tools and techniques.

Empowering partnerships

Collaborating with prominent educational institutions including the esteemed JCB Academy, New City College (East London/Essex), and East Surrey College, the Merlin Engineering Academy is poised to become the premier hub for theme park engineering excellence. This partnership will offer apprentices access to a meticulously structured curriculum and on-site training facilities at select Merlin attractions across the UK, offering budding apprentices the opportunity to receive hands on experience at attractions such as Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park Resort and the London Eye. This holistic approach will empower students with a well-rounded education that primes them for success within the dynamic realm of theme park engineering.

IET seal of excellence

As a demonstration of the Academy’s commitment to excellence, Merlin’s Engineering Technician and Maintenance Operations Engineering Technician apprenticeship scheme has earned the coveted accreditation from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). This prestigious recognition affirms the program’s alignment with industry best practices and standards, setting the stage for aspiring engineers to thrive in a competitive landscape.

Igniting the future

Michael Jones, one of the driving forces behind the Engineering Academy, said, “Our pioneering Engineering Academy is a testament to our resolute belief in education’s transformative power. We’re not just cultivating engineers; we’re fostering innovators and pioneers who will shape the future of entertainment. We invite both fresh talent and existing Merlin staff to join us in this exhilarating journey of learning, growth, and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.”

Dan Canty, Head of Accreditation and Awards at the IET, said: “We’d like to congratulate Merlin Entertainments on the launch of its Engineering Academy and for being awarded accreditation for its engineering apprenticeships. This demonstrates that it maintains standards of quality, content, support and assessment against an internationally recognised framework, and that it will continuously work to maintain those standards.”

Propelling the industry into the future

Fiona Eastwood, Chief Operating Officer for Midway and Resort and Theme Parks for Merlin Entertainments, said: “This visionary venture is not just about rollercoasters; it’s about propelling the industry into the future. The Merlin Engineering Academy is testament to Merlin’s dedication to inclusion, innovation, and delivering memorable joyful experiences. As the academy’s first apprentices step into our exhilarating world, they are on track to become the architects of excitement, ensuring safe and memorable experiences for our guests, now and into the future.”