At the recent Hyde Group Make It in Aerospace Enterprising Schools Challenge, teams of 13 and 14 year-olds showed they have what it takes to make it in aerospace.
The teams set about establishing their mini-manufacturing businesses with enthusiasm, choosing job roles, customer groups and then creating, marketing and selling their multi-functional, unmanned rescue vehicles to a team of ‘Dragons’ from the Hyde Group, along with special guest ‘Dragon’, Councillor Kieran Quinn, Executive Leader of Tameside Council.
In a closely-contested heat, Longdendale Community Language College of Hollingworth, Hyde took the winning trophy with their ‘All Terrain Ambulance’. Designed with tank treads to negotiate all terrains, room for ten injured personnel and an in-built operating theatre for emergencies, their presentation impressed the Dragons and secured their place in the regional Make It in Aerospace Challenge final next summer. One member of the Longdendale team – Valentin Samuel – also won a prize for ‘Most Enthusiastic’ individual.
Reddish Vale Technology College of Stockport were awarded second place and also had an individual prize winner on their team – Louis Bisset – who received an award from the Dragons for ‘Most Innovative Idea’ for his ‘Wildcat 16X’ creation.
Tameside-based Hyde Group are more used to creating airframes and aero engine components, and engineering and tooling for corporations such as Rolls Royce, Airbus and BAE Systems, than playing Dragons. However, as Matthew Murray, human resources director explained: “We were delighted to sponsor the Make It event again this year because we believe it is important to engage young people and dispel the misconceptions they have about careers in engineering and manufacturing.
“Our cutting-edge business requires people with high level skills and so we need to attract the brightest and best talent. Events such as this go a long way towards achieving this goal”.
The event was a collaboration between The Manufacturing Institute, the Hyde Group and the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) and is part of a special series of aerospace themed Make It challenges which the NWAA are supporting to encourage young people to consider careers in aerospace. Rachel Brickell, NWAA skills and training manager commented that “Meeting and engaging with school children of this age group is an ideal way to begin to change the image of aerospace and engineering as an exciting possible career opportunity. We look forward to working with other schools and companies taking part in future challenges.”