The Manufacturing Institute's 'Make It' Challenges have encouraged over 1,200 young people to consider a career in manufacturing.
A series of special Make It school challenges - part funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company - are having a big impact on convincing teenagers that manufacturing could be a career for them.
Run by The Manufacturing Institute, the North West Championship 'Make It' heats were aimed at changing young peoples’ views of the sector.
Running alongside the Institute’s regular series of Make It challenges, sponsored by a range of manufacturing companies, a total of 1,200 13 and 14 year-olds took part in hands-on events in Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire ,Greater Manchester and Abu Dhabi.
Over 18 months, 23 different challenges involved 167 schools and tasked young people with projects ranging from designing a new aircraft to coming up with a new breakfast cereal.
63% would consider a career in manufacturing
The teenagers formed their own mini-manufacturing companies, and worked with a range of industry experts and advocates from businesses large and small.
As a result 63% of the youngsters taking part would now consider a career in manufacturing.
"We’re delighted that our challenges have had such a big impact on teenagers who had never previously thought that manufacturing might be the route for them. They worked hard, had fun and really enjoyed competing against other schools.
“The North West Championships really captured the imagination of our students.”Aimee McGloin who runs the Make It Challenges for The Manufacturing Institute
After five individual championship heats, the Grand Final winners were Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School in Blackburn, with runners up St Thomas More RC High School in Crewe.
The winners of the traditional Make It Challenge Grand Final were Penwortham Girls’ School, Preston, who wowed the judges with their enthusiasm and creativity despite having just five team members instead of eight.
Manufacturing applications engineer John Grimshaw, who helped out as a ‘dragon’ at the NW Championships Grand Final, said:
“In two years I’ll be looking for apprentices and I was looking around and thinking ‘who is the best here?’ I could easily have employed 80% of them."
“I would encourage anyone employed in manufacturing to come and take part in a Make It Challenge. You’ll feel like the stupidest person in the room - but you’ll love it! “John Grimshaw
The Manufacturing Institute is looking for partners from manufacturing companies of all sizes for future challenges. The Make It team can also offer opportunities to work with the team at Trafford Fab Lab – a digital fabrication laboratory in Altrincham – to design a bespoke challenge specifically for your business.
If you would like to sponsor a Make It Challenge - or run your own event - contact Aimee McGloin on 0161 875 2525 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.