Bristol students see how GKN Aerospace is making things fly

Published on: 19th December 2013

Filton site hosts second ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ event

GKN Aerospace welcomed 25 students from four local schools into its manufacturing facility at Filton in Bristol last month, to see how the company’s technology helps to make the world’s aircraft fly.  This was the site’s second event this year supporting the UK Government’s See Inside Manufacturing initiative which is aimed at encouraging young people to consider engineering as a career choice. 

At GKN Aerospace these events give students a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the world of high-tech aircraft design and manufacturing.  During the recent visit, youngsters, from Downend School, Henbury School, Winterbourne International Academy and Mangotsfield School saw the GKN Aerospace team working on the production of complex machined aircraft parts and critical structural wing assemblies. The pupils then took part in an aeroplane build activity that helped demonstrate how an aircraft flies and helped illustrate how important lean manufacturing is in the complex task of creating modern, highly efficient aircraft.

During the visit the students had an opportunity to talk to some of GKN Aerospace’s current apprentices and young engineers, hearing about their work experiences and gathering personal impressions of the first years of a career in engineering in the aerospace sector.

Filton’s first SIM event took place in February this year when twenty students from three local schools visited the site – including a  first group from Mangotsfield school, which was also involved with this second visit.

John Pritchard Vice President and Manufacturing Director, GKN Aerospace Filton said “Through these events we aim to give students an experience of the real working environment, helping them to understand the breadth of employment opportunities available in the aerospace sector. It is vital we encourage the next generation of talented engineers and designers in the UK. We are facing a significant shortage of technically qualified people with the vital skills our manufacturing industrial base needs and we must work with schools, the government and our industry partners to demonstrate what a fantastic career the next generation can have in this sector.”

Pupils from all four participating schools form a team for the aircraft build challenge during the GKN Aerospace SIM event.