GSK backs ‘industrial cadets’ to give school kids a taste of industry

Posted on 16 Jul 2013

Healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline is helping school students to become industrial cadets, a feeder programme from school to jobs in industry run by the Engineering Development Trust.

GSK’s manufacturing staff have been mentoring teams of 12-14 year old students working on science projects to enable them to graduate as industrial cadets.

‘Industrial Cadets’ was designed by education charity EDT to introduce young people to jobs in manufacturing and engineering. It is becoming an established route for enabling secondary school students to understand what happens in companies like GSK.

The programme shows school children how science, technology, engineering and maths equips them to pursue interesting careers with companies Like GSK. Mentors who actually work in these industries can demonstrate to students the usefulness of their studies for careers in local industry.

David Lynch, head of engineering, GlaxoSmithKline said that GSK backs the programme as a “fantastic opportunity to inspire the next generation about the exciting and rewarding career paths in UK engineering and manufacturing.

“The programme firmly aligns with our commitment to supporting education in our communities, and with our mission to help people do more, feel better and live longer,” he said.

Industrial Cadets sprung from a visit by the Prince of Wales to Tata Steel Teeside when he discussed with management the need to enable local students to understand industry and the career opportunities that local industry offers.

Following a pilot project by Tata Steel, education charity EDT has taken the task of rolling out Industrial Cadets nationally and GSK is one of several big companies taking a lead in developing this national activity.

“There is a major skills gap forecast in science and engineering roles over the next twenty years and it is this generation of school students that need to be inspired into undertaking the studies that will equip them to close that skills gap,” said Dr Gordon Mizner, Chief Executive of EDT.

“Unfortunately at the same time it is clear that there is also a major gap in the knowledge of these students about the industries in their local area. Their perception of engineering and scientific careers needs to be changed significantly so they can be inspired into the jobs that exist with companies like GSK now and in years to come.”

About 150 students graduated as industrial cadets at an event at GSK House in West London on July 10 where GSK mentored cadets across the UK displayed and were assessed on their projects.