Local students see how GKN Aerospace is making things fly

Published on: 22nd February 2013

• UK Government’s ‘See Inside Manufacturing’  initiative helps inform young people about a career in manufacturing

GKN Aerospace welcomed twenty students from three South Gloucestershire and Bristol schools into its manufacturing facility at Filton recently to see how the company’s technology helps make the world’s aircraft fly.

The visit was organised as part of the UK government’s ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative, which is aimed at ensuring young people appreciate the potential of a career in engineering today.  The visit gave the students an early, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of high-tech aircraft design and manufacturing.

The youngsters spent the day at the company’s Filton facility where they saw the team working at the cutting edge of aircraft component manufacture, including the assembly of a 30 metre wing trailing edge – a key structural wing part for the huge Airbus A380 that is almost three times the size of the wing trailing edge on a typical passenger aircraft. 

During the visit the students talked to some of GKN Aerospace’s current apprentices and young engineers, giving them an insight into the experiences of some of the company’s latest recruits. The students also explored their aeronautical potential in an ‘Aeroplane Challenge’ – with a prize for the best design and build of a paper aircraft.

John Pritchard, Vice President and Managing Director, GKN Aerospace – Filton, explained: “Our goal is to encourage the next generation of talented engineers in the UK. We are facing a significant shortage of technically qualified people with the vital skills the UK’s valuable manufacturing industrial base needs for the future. We are working with schools, the government and our industry partners to ensure young people have an accurate picture of manufacturing today. Initiatives such as this give us a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate what an exciting career the UK’s leading engineering companies such as GKN Aerospace offer.”

The Filton site employs approximately 1,500 of GKN Aerospace’s worldwide total of 12,000 employees and is a global market leader in the design and manufacture of aircraft assemblies, components and advanced systems.

Winners of the ‘Aeroplane Challenge’ paper plane contest, from Mangotsfield School, are (from left) Dan Weakley, Harry Dyte, Lucy King and Megan Ryemill with GKN Aerospace apprentice Steve Daly, who assisted them.