Students welcomed to the new world of manufacturing

Posted on 31 Mar 2015 by Callum Bentley

PP Electrical Systems has teamed up with Dudley College to give 50 engineers of the future an insight into world class manufacturing.

Students studying a range of BTEC engineering courses have spent a number of days at the Walsall-based automation and electronic control specialist, with the emphasis on shopfloor experience and accessing new technology.

They received a guided tour of the firm’s 40,000 sq ft facility and saw how machines used in the production of automotive components, food packaging, printing and telecommunications are built and then shipped to customers across the globe.

There was also the opportunity for students to buddy up with PP Electrical employees and take part in a challenge that encouraged them to implement 5S into a process to boost performance.

Ian Knight, director of operational excellence, commented: “Manufacturers have been guilty of doing too much talking about the skills shortage and not taking positive action themselves.

“Like many companies we are growing and have to look at ways of getting more engineers into the Dudley College (Action P)recruitment pipeline. With this in mind, we’ve designed a number of work experience days to lift the lid on what manufacturing is like in a bid to cement career choices and show future engineers the different type of jobs available to them.”

He continued: “The placement day provides students with many benefits, giving them new skills and knowledge that will allow them to stand out to potential employers.”

Dudley College’s Helen Boden added her support: “We are always looking to engage with more manufacturers so we can look to bring studies to life.

“PP Electrical Systems offers a world class facility and combines investment in its people with investment in automation and new technology to be a market leader.”

She concluded: “Our students have really taken to the visits so far, with comments such as ‘I thought manufacturing was a dirty job, but it wasn’t’, ‘it has helped me make an informed decision on what part of engineering I want to work in’ and ‘I’ll be applying for an apprenticeship at PP Electrical as I really enjoyed the experience’”

PP Electrical Systems, which is a member of the Midlands Assembly Network, is aiming to grow turnover to £20m this year and will look to create 20 new jobs.