Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast has hosted local schoolchildren during a month of special events for a joint government and industry initiative designed to update perceptions of manufacturing in the U.K. Launched by Business Secretary Vince Cable in 2012, ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ (SIM) aims to build awareness of the sector’s wide range of career opportunities.
The schedule of activities was adapted from Bombardier’s extensive and well-established educational outreach across Northern Ireland, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Around 150 Bombardier employees currently participate in the company’s educational programme as STEM Ambassadors.
During October 2013, pupils from primary and secondary schools experienced first-hand the value of STEM in practical and exciting ways. Programme highlights included a ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ conference for 200 students at W5, Northern Ireland’s interactive discovery and science centre. Currently studying Investigating Science in the Workplace at A-level, attendees were given career advice on the aerospace sector. General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) pupils visited Bombardier’s fuselage manufacturing and assembly facility in Belfast, where they saw major airframe structures in production. Activities culminated in a flight on a Bombardier Q400 aircraft for a group of schoolchildren from Derry-Londonderry, the UK City of Culture 2013, who took part in a STEM-Tech Challenge there earlier in the year.
“See Inside Manufacturing gives young people the opportunity to understand exactly how manufacturing works on a day-to-day basis, dispelling old myths about factories and inspiring the next generation of engineers. So far, the event has been hugely successful in doing this, with nearly nine in 10 young participants saying they would now think about a career in manufacturing. I’m pleased that Bombardier has opened its doors to help showcase the modern world of the aerospace sector, and show young people how it really works behind the scenes,” said U.K. Business Minister Michael Fallon.
“We are delighted to support government on informing careers influencers, parents and, most importantly, young people about manufacturing and have tailored elements of our existing educational outreach for this special SIM programme. The schedule of activities is designed to demonstrate the value of a STEM education when it comes to pursuing a successful career. Our industry offers a wide range of job opportunities for both young men and women in a fast-paced, innovative and rewarding environment,” said Michael Ryan, Vice-President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast.
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