Paul Clavell is Senior Engineering Lecturer at the University of Bolton
A key theme at EEF's Make It Britain conference was that the engineering industry needs more graduates with first-hand experience and a working knowledge of the sector they are preparing to join.
Here at the University of Bolton we're running a new scheme which will see companies and 2nd and 3rd year students working together on selected engineering projects. This will give students hands-on experience of ‘real world' problem-solving plus the chance to see how businesses operate.
We're hugely excited by what this could mean for both our students and the skills-hungry manufacturing and engineering sector. It's a great opportunity for companies to forge strong links with us and to help shape and inspire our engineering students. Our scheme means that the answer to getting graduates more ‘work-ready' now lies – at least in part - in the hands of companies themselves.
So why should manufacturers and engineers get involved?
How better to trial prospective employees than to have undergraduates working on projects with you before they graduate? You may also get back more from placements than you expect, as students may well give you a fresh perspective on processes and approaches to problems.
But more importantly, you will be playing your part in the resurgence of British manufacturing. To aid this upward trend, industry needs to invest in the next generation of engineers and engage with us – universities – in the process of preparing them for professional life.
Companies interested in taking part should email details of their proposed project to P.Clavell@bolton.ac.uk
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