Sensor specialist, Balluff has encouraged students to continue science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and become the future leaders in British manufacturing.
The Northwich-based company manufactures sensors for a wide range of applications and industries including food packaging and automation, gave a presentation to local pupils at Sandbach High School.
Managing director of Balluff UK, John Radford – who gave the presentation – commented: “I was absolutely thrilled to be invited to give this presentation and to help inspire schoolchildren to get into the manufacturing industry.
“We have a serious engineering skills shortage in the UK and we need both talented and enthusiastic people to get involved in manufacturing. By investing time into STEM projects we hope to encourage young people to become the next generation of engineers.
“Recent figures indicate that the shortage of skills in engineering could cost the UK economy £27bn a year if businesses fail to recruit 182,000 engineers annually until 2022. This is proving to be a real struggle so it’s vital that we get the message out there to young people about opportunities in of engineering.”
Balluff currently operates across more than 60 countries on all five continents from Germany; US; Brazil; China, and Australia. Its UK division is based in Northwich, Cheshire and operates across UK and Ireland.
Balluff introduced the students to the concept of modern control technology, where control systems and technologies reduce the need for human work in the production of goods and services, focusing particularly on how automation and sensors are used in beverage packaging industries.
Radford added: “While machines and technology speed up production and massively increase accuracy, we wanted to make it clear to the students that they still have a massive role to play in this field. The engineering world needs skilled, intuitive people to design, maintain and run the machines of tomorrow.
“We hoped to give them an understanding of the subject not only through presentation but by creating hands-on projects, which should encourage students’ confidence in their own abilities, as well as learning to work as part of a team.”
Kevin Gornall, Design & Technology teacher at Sandbach High School, said: “It was a great presentation and I feel that the students got a lot out of it.
“It’s important to us that students get some relevant experience and exposure to industry, so Balluff’s visit was extremely valuable.”