Student engineers at Walsall College are feeling more confident about their future careers after receiving advice from directors at four local manufacturing firms.
50 students attended the Next Gen Makers Engineering Careers Roadshow, which provides engineering employers with opportunities to reach out to the next generation of engineers, introducing them to their companies and future proofing their workforce.
Daniel Burton of RSD Pressings, Tony Fox of Currie & Warner, Terry Knight of SMB Pressings and Neil York of Mueller Europe participated in a Q&A forum. In a wide-ranging discussion, they talked about their routes into engineering and their careers to date. They also described their successes and challenges, as well as the companies that they help to run and what they look for in apprentices.
Following the Q&A Forum students were encouraged to network with the directors, with many of them asking about work experience and apprenticeships.
“Hearing direct from employers about the activities taking place across industry and the career paths they can follow was invaluable,” commented Neil Sambrook Head of Curriculum for Construction, Engineering and Science. The students know how important it is for them to make a good start. Choosing between an apprenticeship, full-time university study and a combination of the two is a big part of this, so it was great to see them discussing these options with the panel.”
“Being able to make informed decisions will make all the difference to them going forward.”
“I found the event useful,” said Level 3 Engineering student, Mide Oshiga. “The employers didn’t just talk about the jobs they had to offer, they went through different career options that will help us get to where we want to be. I will definitely take their advice into consideration when it comes to deciding what pathway I take in future.”
Next Gen Makers is an innovative private sector initiative in the West Midlands that makes it easier for Engineering and Manufacturing firms to recruit Engineering Apprentices and inspire the next generation of engineers in local Colleges & Secondary Schools.
Adam Tipper, Director at Next Gen Makers added: “Every year in the West Midlands we are around 20,000 young engineers short, particularly at SME employers. Our Engineering Career Roadshow is a proactive, outside of the box approach to addressing this by creating awareness of these companies and that they have amazing Apprenticeship opportunities for prospective engineers, such as these students. This type of employer student engagement is crucial and we complement this by organising factory visits and work experience too.”