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Automotive manufacturer focuses on engineers of the future
Automotive parts manufacturer, ElringKlinger (GB) is continuing its work to promote STEM subjects with Teesside primary schoolchildren, setting a example to the manufacturing sector across the country.
As part of the primary engineer STEM programme ElringKlinger (GB) employees have spent time at two primary schools introducing children to engineering.
Ian Richardson, shift leader at ElringKlinger (GB), recently spent a week at Belmont Primary School in Guisborough. During his time at the school Ian shared some of his experiences of working in engineering and engaged the children in practical design tasks.
Around 180 pupils from across the school benefited from the project and learnt a range of attributes including cooperative skills, collaborative learning and basic engineering principles.
Chris Gibson, headteacher at Belmont Primary School, said: “I would like to extend my thanks to ElringKlinger (GB) and Ian in particular for his work with nearly 200 of our pupils from Years One to Six. His drive, expertise, enthusiasm and dynamism was hugely contagious and helped to make the project a success. All the pupils felt a real sense of achievement after learning about all areas of STEM and it was great to be able to involve parents in the project as well.
“We were extremely pleased with the project and it is unbelievable how many children are now showing a real interest in engineering. As well as benefitting the pupils, the staff also gained valuable skills from Ian which they will be able to put into practice going forward.”
Currently ElringKlinger (GB) employs 27 apprentices who make up nearly 10 percent of its workforce. The apprentices work across a number of roles and gain valuable hands on practical experience alongside classroom learning.
The company is committed to addressing the skills gap in the industry and see collaboration with local schools and colleges as an extremely important part of this.
Ian, said: “It was very rewarding visiting Belmont Primary School and talking to the children about my career and the engineering industry in general. They were all very willing to learn and enthusiastic which made my job so much easier. It’s a wonderful feeling seeing so many children interested in engineering and I really enjoy the work that we do with schools in Teesside.”
The automotive parts manufacturer has also worked with Abbey Primary School in Darlington, where Stuart Cheeseman, NPI quality engineer – speciality gaskets at ElringKlinger (GB), has just completed his fifth year on the project.
Around 100 pupils from Year Four heard about Stuart’s experience and teams were set the task of building a car. At the end of the week three teams which impressed were given a prize in a special presentation by ElringKlinger (GB) managing director Ian Malcolm.
Stuart said: “Having been involved with the project at Abbey School for five years now I know how much the children enjoy it and the skills that they can learn. While we teach them practical skills such as measuring, drawing and design, the programme is more about developing problem-solving skills. The children are encouraged to do as much as they can themselves and overcome any issues that they encounter.”
Ian Malcolm, managing director at ElringKlinger (GB), added: “As a business, high on our agenda is addressing the skills gap in the industry and creating opportunities for young people in the region. As well as running our Apprenticeship Programme, it is important for us to educate younger children about careers within engineering and help ensure the future of the industry through our partnerships with local schools such as Belmont Primary School and Abbey Primary School.”