Plant Director, Schaeffler UK
How has your company engaged with young people and the community to improve the image of manufacturing?
We organise visits to our plant and arrange engineering challenges for them during the visit. We also take a 6th Form team every year and give them a real project to work on and they then compete in the EESW competition and so far we have won every year. We send employees out to local schools to speak about manufacturing as a career. We have employed apprentices continuously for over 50 years and they serve as good ambassadors in the community.
What have you personally done to improve youth engagement with manufacturing?
I am chair of SEMTA’S Regional Council in Wales and I promote youth engagement through this vehicle. I am a governor of a local comprehensive school and use this forum. I am also the chair of the Corporate Board for our local college and use this as a platform. It’s great to have Make it in Great Britain as another platform to help improve youth engagement with manufacturing.
What more needs to be done?
More engagement and show the connection between engineering and prosperity. We need to be able to demonstrate progression within the profession. Campaigns like Make it in Great Britain are really important in helping to raise awareness of the rewarding careers on offer within the industry.