Over 2,100 young people and those who influence them attended the 7th Annual Get up to Speed with Engineering and Manufacturing event at Magna Science and Adventure Centre in Rotherham on 26th April. It proved to be the largest and most interactive yet.
Driven by the regions employers and sponsored by AESSEAL plc, Sheffield Tooling Company, Mazak, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Get up to Speed is a highly interactive event aimed at showcasing the manufacturing, engineering and technology sectors, its employers and employment opportunities to school children, students, parents and educators. The event aims to inspire; building confidence and knowledge in these sectors as a great place to work in a fun and interactive way.
The event certainly seemed to be in the right gear, Mum, Alison Bawden who attended with her 14 year old daughter commenting “Brilliant day, so interesting, lots to see and do and we learned loads about all different aspects of engineering and work opportunities around the sector. We are definitely coming again next year!”
Get up to Speed is aimed to inspire and appeal to all ages, Alison Sutton, Assistant Head at Kingfisher Primary said, “we’ve had a fantastic day, even better than last year, can we book again for next year?” Whilst secondary school Dronfield Henry Fanshawe tweeted, “a great day encouraging students to follow STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), enjoying the wonder of Sheffield and Derbyshire.”
Talking after the event John Barber, co-founder of the work-wise Foundation Charity and Chair of the GUTS Steering Group explained more “Get up to Speed is free to attend and is designed to inspire and inform through a wide range of hands on activities, this year we had over 70 different businesses, support and education organisations. It’s all about learning through experiencing and our attractions this year ranged from Virtual Reality Welding, CNC Machining, VR and Augmented Reality tools for the rail industry to a human powered glider, hang gliders, build a bi-plane with Vulcan and inspiring role model Lauren Richardson, female stunt pilot. Vehicles included Rail Ranger, an off road vehicle that also runs on rail tracks, F1 and Motorcycle simulators, University Formula Racing Teams, 10 metre Scalextric and the full-size Bloodhound SSC Education car plus schools rocket car challenge. We have even mobilised the Army and REME bringing a Husky Armoured Car and other vehicles…….. the list goes on, we even had a Dalek!
Recognising the importance of those who influence young people’s choices this year we added the “Futures Zone” supported by the IET and IMechE which provided Teacher Awareness Seminars equipping educators with knowledge and practical activities to take back into school and spread the word further.
Young people are at the heart of the day with Cutlers’ Ambassador Students helping design some of the activities and Year 9 Students (13-14 years old) competing in the 3i work-wise Made in Sheffield Innovation Competition, pitching their creativity and design skills against other schools in a challenge set by employers. This year’s winners were Yewlands Academy working with JRI Orthopaedics from Sheffield.”
The Made in Sheffield brand is recognised around the world and the Sheffield region is renowned internationally for its expertise in high-precision engineering, metals production, new technologies and the high-quality design and manufacturing of products for a wide range of global industries. With 186,000 new engineers required nationally per year between now and 2024 to fill the expected skills gap and with engineering and manufacturing firmly placed on the national agenda, local companies understand the need to help celebrate and promote the industry not just nationally and internationally but importantly locally to ensure that there are enough talented and skilled young people entering the industry to fill the region’s growing skills needs.
Stephen Shore, Group Engineering Director at AESSEAL plc explains “The success of AESSEAL is dependent upon its ability to innovate and bring products to market. We are proud to support the GUTS event, which rightly focuses on innovation, design, manufacturing and engineering in the local area. Get up to Speed is an excellent opportunity for young people to engage with future employers and explore potential career options.”
Many local companies, and increasingly national companies get involved in the event through The work-wise Foundation and attend with their apprentices and graduates to talk to young people and those who educate and influence them about the opportunities and careers open to them. Seven years on, some of those early visitors are now attending as apprentices and graduates and telling their own stories and inspiring others.
Following the success of this year’s event the date and venue has already been set for next year, 18th April 2018 at Magna Science Adventure Centre. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact John Barber at email@example.com or visit www.getuptospeed.org.uk to find out more and register.