The businesses inspiring the next generation of engineers

Businesses have a vital role to play in inspiring the next generation of engineers that the North East needs to plug the skills gap. Find out how the firm Reece Group has teamed up with education charities to open up the world of engineering.

The three day Routes into STEM programme by EDT aims to shine a light on to the wide-range of rewarding careers that STEM careers can lead to.

Following sessions on apprenticeships at TyneMet college and graduates courses at Northumbria University, the group of Y10 pupils spent their final day seeing engineering in action at Reece Group. As well as taking a tour of the iconic Armstrong Works factory, which manufactures products for a wide-range of global markets, they were also set their own design-and-make challenge. Working with engineers the teams designed a load-bearing bracket to be modelled using CAD (computer-aided design) software, before seeing it take shape on the state-of-the-art laser cutting machines. The brackets were loaded and failure and design improvements were proposed, giving the students an experience of iterative design and testing that are common to a range of engineering careers. They also had the chance to put their own questions to staff from group companies Pearson Engineering, Responsive Engineering and Reece Innovation and find out about both graduate and apprentice routes into the industry.

Steve Ross, co-ordinator for the Routes into STEM project for the EDT says 
“The support of companies like Reece Group in hosting EDT projects is vital in opening up the world of engineering to young people, and showing them the wide range of opportunities available. By investing their time in young people now, companies are helping to create that skilled workforce of the future that the North East and the UK desperately needs. Working together with schools and businesses can be part of the solution to the skills gap”

Reece Group CEO, Phil Kite, says
"Both Reece Group and the Reece Foundation are committed to inspiring the next generation of North East engineers. We encourage our employers to work with schools and young people to explain what we do because we’re passionate about our industry, the region we live and are genuinely excited to share the opportunities a career in engineering can offer.”

Andrew Goldsborough, from Newcastle, who graduated from Durham University with a degree in mechanical engineering, has recently started work at leading defence company Pearson Engineering, part of Reece Group. He says "Experience days like this are a great way of inspiring more young people to pursue a career in engineering and to understand what the job actually involves. Engineering is incredibly rewarding, being able to design something and see it leave the factory as a finished product is a great experience.”

Experience such as Routes into STEM has proven to inspire young people and give them the chance to explore the wide range of opportunities that are available to them.

Date published: 
November 30, 2016