More than 60 pupils from local secondary schools took part in a ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ open day event at Schaeffler UK’s automotive engine component manufacturing plant in Llanelli, South Wales.
The event, organised as part of government’s ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ pilot initiative to improve the image of UK manufacturing and attract the brightest and best talent into careers in manufacturing and engineering, was arranged in conjunction with the local college, Coleg Sir Gar, and was facilitated by Schaeffler apprentices and toolmakers.
Over 60 pupils from local schools including Amman Valley, Bryngwyn, Coedcae, Glan y Mor, Queen Elizabeth High School and St John Lloyds took part in the open day, receiving presentations from Plant Director, Roger Evans, MBE and from Schaeffler UK’s Training Manager, Donna Williams-Bevan.
Pupils and teachers were given guided tours of the factory by Schaeffler apprentices and staff in order to see what it would be like to work in a real manufacturing environment and then pupils were split into teams to compete in an ‘Engineering Challenge’, which involved having to correctly read an engineering drawing before devising a suitable method for assembling an idler hub bearing. The winner was the team that correctly assembled their idler hub in the fastest time.
Roger Evans MBE, Plant Director at Schaeffler UK, commented, “The open day has been a tremendous success for everyone involved and we look forward to holding similar events in the future. Giving school children the opportunity to visit a real manufacturing plant, ask questions of apprentices working there and see what it’s really like working with the latest modern machinery in a dynamic, fast-moving manufacturing environment is essential if we are to attract more young people into a future career in this industry.”
Also in attendance on the day were Alex Robinson, Automotive Components Section Manager at The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) and Paul Bullock, Industry Liaison Manager at the Welsh Automotive Forum.
“SMMT, in accordance with the Automotive Council, has aimed to build on local activities already undertaken by individual companies to coordinate a nationwide ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ programme for young people considering their future career options,” said Alex. “I believe Schaeffler’s event is a credit to the initiative and has undoubtedly left a positive impression on many of the school children who visited.”
Schaeffler UK’s Llanelli plant employs 250 people and is the lead Schaeffler production plant in Europe for mechanical tappets.