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School workplace tours make a comeback for Made in Chesterfield

School workplace tours make a comeback for Made in Chesterfield

North East Derbyshire’s school pupils are set to get hands-on with engineering and manufacturing careers once again with the Made in Chesterfield campaign which returns in November.

Forced to moving to virtual workplace tours last year amidst the pandemic, schools can once again visit local engineering and manufacturing businesses in person and discover the range of careers and job opportunities on offer to them in the sector.

Launched originally in 2013, the annual Made in Chesterfield campaign, which is coordinated by Destination Chesterfield in partnership with Direct Business Education Partnership, has since introduced thousands of young people across North East Derbyshire to the possibility of a career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sector.

Relaunched for 2021, and free from the constraints imposed last year by the pandemic, Made in Chesterfield is offering workplace tours for schools across 10 local companies operating in the STEM sector.

Aiming to bridge the careers information gap between education and industry, groups of Year 7 – 11 students will be visiting businesses from Monday 8 - Friday 26 November for an educational, interactive learning experience between.

Companies offering workplace tours to schools include CBE+, Superior Wellness, United Cast Bar, Morgan Sindall Group Plc, MSE Hiller, Penny Hydraulics, Aztec Oils, Vistry Partnerships, Weightron Bilanciai and Woodhead Group.

As part of the month-long Made in Chesterfield campaign, schools can also access a range of careers videos to enable young people to experience a number of workplace tours virtually. There is also supporting activities and careers information and apprentice opportunities within the MyFuture virtual careers fair.

Four years ago, Made in Chesterfield introduced Eve Bennett (20) to the sector with a two- week work experience with her now employer MSE Hiller. She has since gone on to complete a mechanical engineering apprenticeship at the company which is one of a number businesses in the sector supporting the campaign.

Eve said:

“I still find it shocking that women get frowned upon for going into engineering. It’s a brilliant job and career for anyone. I’ve always wanted to be an engineer for as long as I can remember. I love the job and the company I am working for. I couldn’t see myself doing anything different.”

Ivan Fomin, Managing Director of MSE Hiller and Destination Chesterfield’s board member responsible for manufacturing and engineering in the Borough, commented:

“We have been running Made in Chesterfield for eight years and in that time, it has achieved an incredible amount. It works. Two of MSE Hiller’s apprentices are a direct result of the campaign.

“Made in Chesterfield is committed to breaking down preconceived ideas about the sector by young people, their parents and teachers. The world has changed and so has the manufacturing and engineering sector. It offers fantastic skills and training as well as interesting and well paid jobs at every level. Eeveryone is welcome.”

Dan Heffernan, Careers & Young People Lead at D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“In this fast changing world of innovation, technology and ever increasing advancement within industry, never has the phrase “you can’t be what you can’t see” been more appropriate. After the last 18h months of our young people being confined to their screens, it’s more important than ever that they are now given the opportunity to experience real life workplaces and to engage with employees carrying out real life jobs.

“It’s no secret that the pandemic rocked our labour market and sent shockwaves right the way across industry. However, as we now turn the corner our businesses are looking at how they can bounce back and thrive once again, and central to this will be a pipeline of talent ready to enter their workforce. It is therefore vital that our young people are aware of the opportunities open to them, and crucially that they understand what they must do to get there.

“D2N2 LEP and the Careers & Enterprise Company are incredibly proud to be working on this open door initiative in Chesterfield, building on the successes that have been seen in previous years whilst engaging and encouraging even more businesses and schools to take part. It is then our intention to use this model as a framework to roll out to all schools right the way across the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire region through our new Careers Hubs.”

Charlie Goodwn, projects Officer at EBP commented:

“We're excited to working in partnership with Destination Chesterfield and D2N2 to deliver the Made in Chesterfield event in November for students from Chesterfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire schools. It's a fantastic opportunity for students to be inspired by local employers and have their eyes opened to the many career opportunities that are available to them right on their doorstep.”

DEBP has been working with the schools to identify groups of students that would benefit from a visit to a local company. Students identified may have a specific career they would like to learn more about or may just need an opportunity to learn about the careers within their preferred industry.  Charlie added:

“We're looking forward to seeing the impact of this year's Made in Chesterfield events for the young people and businesses involved.”

Made in Chesterfield 2021 has been made possible thanks to funding and support from The Chesterfield College Group, Chesterfield Borough Council, North Derbyshire Career Hub, MSE Hiller, United Cast Bar Ltd and Natwest.

To find out more about Made in Chesterfield and discover how your school can get involved with a workplace visit, please visit https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/made/.

Picture: Eve & Jake


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