Yeovil’s Lord Mayor sees the UK Government’s ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ scheme in action
GKN Aerospace welcomed twenty students from four local schools into their manufacturing facility at Yeovil recently. There the young people saw how the company’s engineers develop important aircraft structures, including the complete airframe for the UK military helicopter fleet’s latest addition: the AW159 Lynx Wildcat.
The visit was organised as part of the Government’s UK-wide ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ (SIM) campaign, an initiative that is transforming young people’s perceptions of manufacturing. The Yeovil visit is one of a series involving every GKN Aerospace site in the UK and is focused on giving students, their teachers and careers advisors a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the competitive, high-tech, world of aircraft design and manufacture.
After their tour of the site the students chatted to current GKN Aerospace apprentices and young engineers, hearing how involved these new recruits are with their projects and how important their contribution is to their team.
The day rounded off with an essay competition looking for the best description of the day from a student. The winner of this competition, whose name will be announced in class assembly during the last week of October, will win a tablet computer!
Councillor Mike Lock, Lord Mayor of Yeovil commented: “It was wonderful to see this group of enthusiastic young women and men start to appreciate what the team at GKN Aerospace in Yeovil do each day – and how they could get involved if they take make the right choices in their education. This is an impressive scheme giving access to the manufacturing sector -an area of our economy that is often misperceived as involving dirty, manual work. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, as we saw today.”
Louisa Chatting, General Manager, GKN Aerospace – Yeovil, explained: “Across the UK manufacturing industrial base we face a critical shortage of technically qualified people with the engineering skills we need for the future so it is vital we reach the next generation, like the girls and boys who visited us today, and wipe away the negative perceptions and prejudices of the past.”
Louisa continues: “This is an exciting and rewarding career full of challenges and opportunities – with new technologies coming along that will completely revolutionise the way we design and make things in the future. The students who we met today, and their contemporaries, have a chance to be part of that amazing revolution and to use their minds to help shape the aircraft of the future.”
SIM is now in its third year in the aerospace sector with GKN Aerospace using the campaign to bring students into its sites every year. Company participation has grown each year and this year, for the first time, all 7 of the company’s UK sites are holding SIM visits in the coming months.
The Yeovil site employs approximately 350 of the GKN Aerospace’s worldwide total of 12,000 staff and produces and metallic structures for fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.