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Inspiring the next generation of engineers

24 July 2017

As part of its pledge to bridge the engineering skills gap, Rotech, a designer of end-to-end coding and feeding systems, recently participated in a two day ‘Insight into Industry’ conference at The Marlborough Science Academy, St Albans. 

Joining other national and local companies, including Marks and Spencer, Rotech used its presentation slots on the 5th and 6th July to engage with over 200 year-9 students and showcase the exciting and varied career engineering pathways available to young people. 

Rotech’s managing director Chris Baker, who is eager to change the perception that engineering is a ‘job for the boys’, aimed to inspire the audience and explain what goes on behind the scenes at a rapidly growing enterprise and the types of opportunities this affords people seeking career diversity. 

Baker wants to strengthen links with the local school and reach out to the future generation of engineers direct. “In order to have a positive influence over future engineering talent, it is important to connect with young people at the time when they are considering their academic choices. We are keen to break down the perceived barriers and misconceptions and put engineering on young people’s future career radar,” he said. 

Rotech’s most recent apprentice, who is an ex-student from the Academy was on hand to share his personal experience. James Bennett, who joined Rotech recently, applied for his apprenticeship after attending an open day at the company’s facility last November with fellow year-11 students. “My immediate impression back then was the variety of exciting opportunities engineering offered, the difference they make to the world we live in and how I could be a positive role model in the future,” he said.

George Wallis-Smith who joined the company in 2015 explained to the audience his rationale for choosing the apprenticeship route over going to university. “From personal experience I feel that apprenticeships give you greater insight into industry and exposure to the variety of work placement opportunities available. I quickly discovered that the perception of engineering is nothing like how it’s portrayed in the media. By studying an apprenticeship, I am learning valuable life skills such as project planning, time management and communication.”

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