There is a lack of skilled people in manufacturing but automation company Festo is hoping to encourage fresh blood into industry.
The latest report of the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) showed a two-and-a-half year high of 57.2 in August and marked the fifth consecutive month of expansion for the manufacturing sector.
As the industry has regained momentum, Gary Wyles, Managing Director at Festo Training & Consulting, urged: “Now is definitely the time that we need to step up and step out to find and interest young people in a rewarding career in manufacturing and engineering.”
Festo Training & Consulting is specialised in the development of people, organisation and technology. It promotes events such as the Big Bang Fair 2014 and the WorldSkills UK National Skills Competition in order to make teenagers and college students aware of the possibilities offered by the engineering sector.
“Working with organisations such as Festo, is crucial for equipping our students with up-to-date knowledge and skills in engineering. It is as a result of our relationships with companies such as Festo that jobs are often offered to our students above graduates from Oxbridge”, said Trisha Goodchild, NETP Placement Manager at Northants University.
Awareness and promotion of gender equality is also at the center of its work. Jacqui Hanbury, Product Manager at Festo and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) Ambassador has worked closely with the local schools, colleges and university to bring STEM subjects into the world of young women.
Indeed such work seems to be paying off. A 2012 study from Wise Campaign showed that the number of girls who studied GCSE Physics and Chemistry rose at a dramatically higher rate than boys.
“I love working in engineering and I think it’s a shame that more of our young people disregard it as an industry because they don’t think it’s relevant to them. I try to make engineering more relevant, helping them to understand that it is engineers that develop the technology inside their phone, iPad, Xbox and many of the electronic items around them”, said Hanbury.