Inspiring a New Generation of Engineers

ECITB Engineering Experience Course

Constructing a device to transport “nuclear waste” was just one of the challenges set for students taking part in the ECITB Engineering Experience, held 2nd to 5th April at Harper Adams University College, in Shropshire.

                        The four day residential course sponsored by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) and delivered by educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, saw 96, 13-14yr olds explore the world of engineering construction, through a number of exciting and challenging workshops.

David Edwards, Chief Executive, ECITB, said: “The ECITB is proud to work alongside The Smallpeice Trust to support the promotion of careers in the engineering construction industry. The residential experiences are incredibly successful and our members also recognise the benefits of engaging with young students to broaden their knowledge of the engineering construction industry and the careers it offers. It’s imperative that we work in partnership to attract the high number of new entrants needed to fulfil the demands of the industry.”

The course, designed to inspire the students, gives an insight into the various stages and processes involved in an engineering project. Mentored by real-life engineering professionals, the students competed in teams to complete two projects set by engineering construction companies, Doosan Power Systems and BNS Nuclear. Siemens were also present to deliver a valuable and inspiring career talk.

Doosan Power Systems led a project to build a bridge which could support weight and the second challenge led by BNS Nuclear entailed constructing a device to safely carry “nuclear waste” in the form of an egg whilst ensuring it didn’t break. These projects required students to work together to plan, design and construct. They had to stick to budgets whilst ensuring the project was commercially viable.

Dr Andrew Cave, Chief Executive of The Smallpeice Trust said: “We are delighted that the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board sponsored this course at Harper Adams University College for a second year running. Engineering construction has played and continues to play a vital role in major projects including Heathrow Terminal 5, the Olympic Aquatic Centre roof and Wembley Stadium and it is absolutely vital that we inspire the engineers of tomorrow!”

David Edwards said: “The engineering construction industry is in a position to be able to offer exciting and well paid careers to young people. Our latest forecasts predict a 30 per cent growth over the next ten years with 60,000 more engineers, scientists, technologists and skilled workers needed. It is vital to the future of engineering construction that we raise awareness of the industry with young people.”

The ECITB Engineering Experience is part of an on-going programme of subsidised residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 year olds develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing.


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About the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board

The ECITB is the statutory and charitable body set up to secure engineering construction skills now and for the future. It has delivered training successfully to over one million learners over 20 years, and is led and funded by employers from the industry, ensuring the services are relevant and fit for purposeThe ECITB provides professional advice, information, skills development and qualifications to help individuals in engineering construction and anyone interested in a career in the industry to succeed. A dedicated website has been set up to provide more detailed information The ECITB sets a range of occupational and training standards, awards industry specific qualifications and invests £20 million each year in support of apprentices and adult learners across a range of skills. From entry level craft and technician programmes through to advanced engineering project management skills. In 2011, 65,000 people were supported through the ECITB’s range of approved programmes delivered by a network of over 200 approved providers. The ECITB strategy is built on three objectives, these are to attract, qualify and develop talented people for the industry. The ECITB operating processes that secure the depth, breadth and quality of service are: employer engagement, identification of skills needs and priorities, stakeholder and provider engagement, delivery and continuous improvement. The ECITB provides support to employers, their employees and apprentices to design, build, maintain and decommission nuclear, power, pharmaceutical, renewables, chemicals, food, water, oil & gas facilities and other processes.

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