Diploma students look to the future 

Students taking the engineering diploma
Students taking the engineering diploma

Engineering Diploma pupils got a glimpse of their future careers at a special four day event organised by some of the region’s leading employers.


The event was supported by MBDA UK, PMT Industries, Hare Structural Engineers, Watson Steelwork, Warburtons and Viridor Laing.


Some 34 eager students got to spend half a day with each company, giving them a valuable insight and hands on experience of a variety of engineering sectors.


As well as a tour of each company’s premises, the young people received presentations from employees on key areas covered within the diploma, such as the design process, health and safety, foundry techniques, maintenance, waste management, electronic assembly and rapid prototyping.


Day four was hosted by MBDA and consisted of a team building exercise based around a design project, which was judged by the MBDA engineers. Students who produce the winning design will receive a week’s work placement with the company in the second year of the Diploma. The winners will be announced in September.


MBDA’s Gareth Humphries said: “It is important for employers to get involved in these events to raise the profile of engineering and assist in attracting the good calibre students into the industry.”


Jack King from Rivington and Blackrod High School said: “I liked seeing products that I could recognise, for example steelwork structures for the Olympic Village being produced by Watsons.


“The visit to MBDA was also really interesting as we were able to see a number of manufacturing processes such as electronic assembly. I enjoyed the design project and team building exercise as it was good to work with students from other schools.”


Plans are in place to run the event again next year. MBDA have again offered to support the event and host the final day.


Pupils taking part are the first to take the Diploma in Engineering which offers an innovative mix of both theoretical and practical learning.


There are nine diplomas available in Bolton from September 2009, with a further three to come the following year. Diplomas have been designed with input from local employers to help ensure that students are gaining skills for a successful career.


Councillor Ebrahim Adia, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “This was a great event which demonstrates the potential of the new diploma. Students can experience different environments and mix practical work with theory for a rounded learning experience.


“It’s pleasing to see our local employers showing such enthusiasm to get involved and support the development of our talented young people.”

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George Wright
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