FIBER GLASS SYSTEMS Apprentices of 2017 and STEM Success!

May 08,2019

This year we are delighted to welcome four new advanced engineering apprentices to Fiber Glass Systems Lewis Jones, Jessica Griffiths, Kalvin Heald, Ethan Frost.

We currently have a 100% track record of employing EVERY person that has successfully completed our apprenticeship scheme and this year highlights a genuine success story with our commitment to supporting STEM with the enrolment of Jessica Griffiths.

In 2016 we were invited to participate in a new venture, “Futureworks”.   Managed by The Plymouth Manufacturing Group (PMG), this programme was designed to address, and ultimately transform, pupils’ misconceptions that often surround science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related industry careers.  With teachers often being fundamental in a student’s final subject choice it was vital to equip these influential professionals with an accurate knowledge and understanding of career opportunities within our Industry.

Twinning agreements were established between a number of local companies and secondary schools, to create a special relationship between education and industry and provide the means to demonstrate what manufacturing and engineering is really all about in the 21st century.

Fiber Glass Systems, twinned with Notre Dame Roman Catholic School and in February 2016, were the first company to host a week long placement for Design and Technology teacher, Abi Hunns.  Abi was hosted by numerous departments within our company and was provided with an eye-opening, hands-on experience of our manufacturing process, problem solving and design capabilities.

The experience dispelled a lot of her own misconceptions surrounding the manufacturing and engineering sector, and enabled her to return to the classroom armed with practical knowledge which could be applied to lessons and student career advice.

The next stage in the Futureworks programme was the official launch by Councillor Tudor Evans, held at our Plymouth facility, followed by a Lunch & Learn event and facility tour for 10 lucky Notre Dame pupils.  Jessica was one of the pupils in attendance on this day!

Later that year she went on to win the Fiber Glass Systems sponsored “Innovation” prize at the school’s annual award ceremony, which was presented by Marketing Manager Grace Bull – herself a former Notre Dame pupil and the ultimate example of a successful Fiber Glass Systems Business & Administration apprenticeship!

During the summer holidays Jessica showed exceptional initiative by requesting a week’s work experience at our facility which we were happy to accommodate.  During the week she spent significant time in each of our factories and Engineering Services Department which included a number of practical exercises and problem solving challenges.   Showing great aptitude and enthusiasm throughout, she managed to impress every member of staff that was involved.  Because of this it was decided that we would extend an offer of an advanced engineering apprenticeship placement to Jessica immediately and to our delight she accepted!

As statistics show that women currently make up only 6% of the U.K’s qualified engineers, correcting misconceptions at an early age is vital if the industry is to redress this worrying trend.  The Futureworks programme has proved that this is possible!

Abi Hunns, Design and Technology teacher, Notre Dame RC School – “The work experience placement was a fantastic opportunity to gain understanding of a week in the life of a manufacturing industry in Plymouth. This experience has enabled me to discuss the fantastic opportunities there are in Plymouth for budding female engineers. On a regular basis I discuss with the girls how the industry is calling out for female engineers. Jess having the fantastic opportunity to join the Fiber Glass Systems family is the first step and is a success story of the School Challenge Programme. She has said she will visit the school to discuss the opportunity she has been given to encourage other girls about the opportunities they have to offer and other manufacturing companies in Plymouth.”

If you would like to know more about our manufacturing capability or career opportunities, contact us now at [email protected].

Looking for more information?