Wednesday, November 3, 2010

News: Manufacturers celebrate workwise success

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Kevin Parkin, managing director of DavyMarkham in Sheffield, called for even more businesses to get involved in the exciting new work-wise programme, at a special event that marked the six month success of the pilot scheme, which was designed to open up the opportunities for young people to enter the world of engineering and manufacturing.

He joined The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Alan Law JP, over 50 employers and a number of teachers and pupils at a breakfast event at The Springs Academy in Sheffield, which was organised by Rotherham-based Business & Education South Yorkshire (b&e) who manage the work-wise programme, and heard how the programme is already starting to have a major impact on young people.

The work-wise programme has been developed in partnership with a number of manufacturing and engineering companies in response to their concerns that not enough young people are attracted to the sector as well as not having the basic work ready skills to take up apprenticeships and jobs.

Jackie Freeborn, chief executive of Business & Education South Yorkshire said: "This programme will grow significantly this year, after the success of Phase One when 48 students from three schools worked with three local businesses.

"Work-wise has given many of the pupils the enthusiasm to pursue a career in engineering and for the businesses involved it has given them real hope of a bright future for their businesses through this new generation of young engineers."

The first phase of the work-wise pilot programme involved Sheffield companies Firth Rixson, DavyMarkham and William Beckett Plastics and pupils from Handsworth Grange and King Ecgbert Schools and Sheffield Springs Academy.

It has attracted the interest of over 60 employers including Newburgh Engineering, Firth Rixson, DavyMarkham, the OSL Group of Companies, Chimo Holdings, Sheffield Forgemasters, Tinsley Bridge, as well as partners such as NAMTEC, Made in Sheffield and The Industrial Trust, and Sheffield City Council.

Phase Two aims to work with up to 300 students across the region, following a successful first phase, which has helped to raise the aspirations of pupils about careers in engineering.

Employers involved with work-wise commit to offering a range of planned and structured activities for young people, including work experience, industry visits and challenges to improve their understanding of engineering. A work-wise tool kit and work book, plus training and support are provided by b&e. Students are assessed by companies to standards set by industry so that students as truly work ready and work-wise.

B&ESY website

Images: B&ESY

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