With engineering facing a huge skills crisis, a pioneering new project is giving schoolchildren in a UK school mini apprenticeships to reverse the decline of young people choosing careers in industry.
International engineering firm Nylacast has launched Introneering, a new initiative that is being piloted among 15 year old students at Beaumont Leys School in Leicester, England.
The firm hopes that by reaching them when they’re young with an action-packed program, the teenagers will be buzzing about engineering and more likely to opt for careers in industry.
The first six students have completed a five-day pilot program that features a condensed apprenticeship that gives the young teenagers an introduction to all aspects of the polymer and engineering industry, including health and safety, chemical engineering, technical drawing and mechanical math.
“One of the benefits of Introneering is that it gives young people experience of the work environment and puts school subjects such as math, science and English into context in a work place,” said Ian Mallabone, HR manager at Nylacast.
“There are so many different career opportunities in engineering ranging from accounts and IT to sales and marketing,” said Deana White, training manager at Nylacast. “Even if the youngsters that take part decide that engineering isn’t for them, by giving them a chance to see a range of real life jobs it will hopefully open their minds to the other career paths that are out there. This project gives us the opportunity to showcase apprenticeships as an alternative route to achieving qualifications while working and gaining valuable experience. Employers across engineering need young people to come in to replace an ageing skilled workforce that is leaving industry, but we also need young people because they bring new energy and ideas, which are the lifeblood of any business."
The week proved to be an eye-opener for the six students who took part, giving them an insight into the world of work. They learned about how Nylacast components are used in industries and products where they add value.
Nylacast specializes in the development of bespoke polymer components, from design to manufacture and testing. The firm also works with international, blue chip manufacturers in the construction, automotive as well as oil and gas sectors. These include household names such as Shell, JCB and Mercedes.
Image: Introneering students presented with their certificates of achievement/Nylacast