A group of 28 GCSE and A-Level students from five schools were invited to learn more about engineering and consider it as a career as part of an innovative Focus on Engineering project in Enfield.
The companies said that although they were keen to highlight the career opportunities and plug the national shortage of people in engineering they were delighted with the feedback from students.
Pupils from Winchmore School, in Laburnum Grove, Winchmore Hill; Edmonton County School, in Greater Cambridge Road, Edmonton; Chace Community School, in Churchbury Lane, Enfield; St Anne’s Catholic High School for Girls, in Oakthorpe Road, Palmers Green; and The Latymer School, in Haselbury Road, Edmonton, were given hands-on experience of solving a range of challenges set for them as well as the chance to quiz staff about the science of opportunities of joining an Apprenticeship scheme.
At chemical and sustainable technology firm Johnson Matthey, in Jeffreys Road, Brimsdown, they had a go at welding plastic and were challenged to light up the lab by putting together a light bulb holder and picking the appropriate fuse for the bulb.
The firm’s corporate social responsibility manager Barry Connelly said that the three-day event during the Easter school holiday tested students commitment and also gave them the chance to find out if engineering might be a career for them as well as chat with current engineering Apprentices.
Other companies said that they were keen to get involved in the scheme, which was arranged with support from Enfield Council.
Mr Connelly added, “At the end of the programme after time at the three big companies and hands-on experience of engineering and doing the challenges these kids should really decide if they want to go into engineering.”
Students also had the chance to learn more about the work at Kelvin Hughes, in Mollison Avenue. The firm designs navigation and surveillance equipment and has moved from Hainaut, in Redbridge, east London, to Enfield Lock, where it employs 300 people.
The students looked at a radar work station they would find on a modern ship and got the chance to meet staff including technical publications manager Will Wallis, the grandson of Sir Barnes Wallis, who developed the World War II bouncing bomb.
Group marketing director Mark Brown said the firm was keen to recruit locally and put a career in engineering on students’ radars.
At the 30-acre London Waste Eco Park, in Advent Way, Edmonton, students were involved in observations in the control room and had hands-on experience of mechanical and electrical engineering.