The UK needs engineers and this need will only keep growing. It is essential to make engineering and manufacturing careers more attractive for young people, giving them the opportunity to build solid foundations for future professional success through high quality apprenticeships. But it is equally important for sector employers to ensure that their apprenticeship programmes draw the most talented youngsters. A manufacturing company from Staffordshire has taken an innovative approach to this, using a competition among school students to pick out the best and brightest among them, Automation magazine reports on its website.
It is the second time KMF Precision Sheet Metal Manufacturing has run the competition, offering winners the opportunity to gain work experience at the company and potentially enrol for an advanced apprenticeship. Last year, 1,700 students from 16 schools across Staffordshire took part in the competition and were tasked with designing a mechanical clock. This year the bar has been raised even higher: pupils have to design, build and race Formula 24 cars.
Gareth Higgins, managing director at KMF, noted that the future success of the UK economy depends on more young people entering the engineering and manufacturing sectors. Higgins said that he was thrilled with the level of student and parent engagement achieved through this competition and the fact that it helped youngsters decide on their future study subjects. The company has tried to make the competition both fun and challenging while identifying the talented students that could one day reach the top of the engineering profession via the apprenticeship route, Higgins added.