Hanson Academy Year 11 pupil Ben Bott (16) is approaching his GCSEs safe in the knowledge that his next move will be towards a career in engineering and manufacturing.
One of more than 1,000 pupils who took part in Bradford Manufacturing Week 2018, Ben visited Bradford’s aerospace component manufacturer Produmax as part of the awareness initiative last October.
Drawn towards the automation, machinery and processes he was introduced to at Produmax, Ben is now attending an apprenticeship open day at the company in April with the intention of understanding whether he will undertake an engineering and manufacturing college course or apply for a straight-from-school apprenticeship.
Teacher Simon Clemmett said the Produmax experience during Bradford Manufacturing Week has been invaluable for Ben and many of his classmates who have since been inspired to consider an apprenticeship in the district. He said: “Having our students involved with Bradford Manufacturing Week is a wonderful chance to open their eyes to industry and the many local career opportunities.
“It's difficult to communicate the reality of the processes and technology used by companies who manufacture products when you’re in the classroom. But since taking part in the initiative last year, we’ve noticed a real difference in attitude and interest from the students. As a Design Technology teacher the visits and practical exercises helps me to refer back to student work experiences and relate to practical and theory learning in lessons.”
This week Ben joined sponsors and organisers of Bradford Manufacturing Weeks for the launch of the 2019 initiative and says he hopes more students experience the invaluable insight he gained last year.
“I absolutely loved my time at Produmax last year – being able to get out onto the shop floor and work alongside their staff was a real honour,” Ben explains. “I couldn’t believe that they were letting us handle such important kit and get involved with their actual production line.
“Being there really broadened my knowledge of engineering and I enjoyed getting to see the workplace environment first hand, it made me realise that I would definitely like to pursue a career in manufacturing and engineering. I’m hoping to get an apprenticeship as soon as possible or alternatively, be enrolling on a Level 3 engineering course at Bradford College in September.”
Produmax is a Bradford-based specialist manufacturing company with an expertise in high precision engineering. Operating globally, the 80-strong team works in partnership with aerospace manufacturers to produce high quality machined components and assemblies.