Students given a taste of engineering in Gloucestershire

Global engineering company Renishaw gave students the chance to work for them for a week in July

Renishaw, who supply products used for brain surgery as well as wind turbine manufacture, invited 108 school students, from years 10 and 12,for work experience in July 2016 at their Gloucestershire headquarters. The students took on a series of engineering projects to get a taste of what a career in the field entails. The Renishaw work experience programme aims to inspire more young people to consider STEM careers. Over the rest of the year, Renishaw also offers commercial work experience opportunities in its marketing, finance, legal and sales departments.

The first group of engineering work experience students undertook a project to design a magnetic levitation track and carriage. In the following week, the second group of students were tasked with designing a versatile measurement instrument accurate to 0.5 mm or better. The projects build on the physics curriculum, allowing pupils to apply classroom knowledge in an industry environment.

The students work on the projects according to Renishaw’s product development process and use project plans and timelines as if they were Renishaw engineers. The work experience week also develops the students’ skills in presenting, teamwork, report writing, budgeting and project planning.

“A worrying Engineering UK report recently forecasted that the engineering skills shortage will cost the UK £27 billion a year by 2022,” explained Julie Collins, Education Liaison Manager of Renishaw. “Addressing the skills shortage is vital to the UK economy. Renishaw hopes to work with young people to inspire STEM career choices as a part of addressing this urgent skills shortage. There is a huge buzz around the week and we have had excellent feedback, with some students leaving enthused about a potential career in engineering.”

On the final day of the project, the student teams presented the prototypes to senior Renishaw board members and have also been awarded full recognition by the Skills for Stroud Work Experience and Employability Charter.

Applications for Renishaw’s apprenticeship schemes, including a degree-level software engineering apprenticeship, open in December.

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