Did you know that one in eight people are employed in manufacturing & engineering in Plymouth? That’s the highest concentration of any City in the South of England!
On Tuesday 14th July the Plymouth Manufacturers Group launched The Manufacturing Schools Challenge. The event bought together over 50 representatives from education providers and manufacturers across the city at the Fiber Glass Systems facility in Roborough.
This latest, and exciting, initiative is specifically aimed at raising awareness of the incredible career opportunities available within the manufacturing and engineering sector in the Plymouth area and dispelling common industry preconceptions such as “it’s only for boys” and “It’s difficult – too much maths”…
The scheme will establish “twinning agreements” between Plymouth manufacturers and local secondary schools – with a maximum of 18 registration places available.
One teacher or career advisor from each school will be given the opportunity of participating in a week of “work experience” at one of the manufacturing facilities. Seen as pivotal to the project as a whole, this first-hand experience will provide the beneficiary with a greater understanding of the diversity and innovation of manufacturing and engineering in the 21st century, and the positive impact should provide a lasting legacy for the countless pupils encountered by the individual in the future.
It is hoped that the programme will not only help to tackle the current issue of gender imbalance within the sector (currently just 9% of qualified engineers are female!) but also create prospects for site visits, focused career talks and an increase in apprenticeship uptakes.
Participating schools will be given the chance to try out a cutting edge 3D additive layer printer, free of charge for one term and at that end of the Manufacturing Schools Challenge the printers will be raffled off to become the permanent property of three lucky schools!
William Murphy, current Chairman of the PMG and Fiber Glass Systems Vice President Sales & Marketing for UK and ERCA attended the event and commented as follows;
“This is an exciting opportunity to improve engagement between manufacturing companies and local schools, giving young people the opportunity to see what exciting careers and real job prospects are available whilst also giving the schools the opportunity to best prepare their young students for entry into the job market.”
Mr Murphy is pictured right presenting this year’s PMG Year in Industry award to Chris Blackaby at the launch event.
For more information on this exciting project please contact Steve Gerry, Secretary of the Plymouth Manufacturing Group, at [email protected]