This week, the Institute of Engineering and Technology is publicising a coordinated national programme of events designed to give young people an insight into what it is like to be an engineer. Servelec Controls, a leading systems integrator in the Power and Nuclear industries, is proudly already underway with supporting such efforts on a local scale; specifically around its Warrington office.
Work experience Opportunities: a first glance at engineering
Servelec Controls coordinates a number of opportunities for local 14-16 year-old students to experience what it is like to work in engineering through partnering with local schools. A recent work experience student, Kieran, spent a week in the Warrington office learning first-hand about the systems that help to control aspects of the country’s energy infrastructure. Kieran spent the week shadowing a number of specialists in the Warrington office and the company’s intention is to support up to four further work experience placements throughout the next academic year.
Supporting University Placement students to develop hands-on experience
Servelec Controls’ team in Warrington is also recently bolstered by a placement student, Ashley Cleave, who will work with the team for around twelve months. Having completed a summer placement with Sellafield as part of his studies towards a degree in Electrical Engineering, Ashley was keen to learn more about companies within Sellafield’s supply chain and sought out the opportunity with Servelec Controls.
The team has been supporting Ashley in gaining more hands-on experience of detailed design during his placement. As Dave Kirby, Project Delivery Manager at Servelec Controls, explains; ‘Ashley is already making a very positive contribution to the team at Servelec Controls and the projects we are delivering for our customers. From our point of view, it is invaluable to have a fresh pair of eyes questioning what we do and how we do it as this often helps us shape further enhancements of our solutions that we deliver on time and on budget to our customers.”
Across the Servelec group, the company supports around 30 students with placements each year with many of them going on to gain permanent employment.
Engaging with UTC Warrington to develop future innovators
Continuing Servelec Controls’ strong links with academic institutes, the team from its Warrington office is also helping to shape the syllabus of relevant engineering courses at UTC Warrington with a view to inspiring young people into a future career in STEM disciplines.
A UTC (University Technical College) is an industry-orientated school designed for ambitious young people, aged 14-19, who have aspirations to become leading future innovators. UTC Warrington is funded by the government, is free to attend and is sponsored by a number of successful companies along with Manchester Metropolitan University.
UTC Warrington opens its doors to students in September 2016, but Servelec Controls has already been working collaboratively with Warrington Skills Council to shape the nature of learning. Rob Rowland, Senior Engineer at Servelec Controls, sits on a local employer council sub-committee which steers UTC Warrington to develop a curriculum that will engage and be of benefit to local employers. This has a dual benefit of ensuring students are well-equipped with the skills they need for future career opportunities and local employers, such as Servelec Controls, are well positioned to offer these rewarding roles.
Alex Moore, Managing Director of Servelec Controls, summarised; “At Servelec Controls we want to do all we can to support young, up and coming talent in the industry. Through engagement with schools, colleges and universities we can engage young people in going on to develop a rewarding career that helps us to shape the landscape and industry around us.”
Division: Servelec Controls