Pupils rise to the chal­lenge of a fu­ture in en­gi­neer­ing

Tech­nol­ogy firm en­gages stu­dents

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - BUSINESS NEWS -

Proud pi­o­neers of in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy, Sil­ver­son, based in Che­sham, is pas­sion­ate about in­vest­ing in to­mor­row’s en­gi­neers and keen to raise aware­ness among young peo­ple of the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able from ap­pren­tice­ships, set pupils the task dur­ing the half-term school hol­i­days.

Ap­pren­tice­ship train­ing man­ager Andy Darby said: “Af­ter strug­gling to re­cruit the right cal­i­bre of ap­pren­tices we de­cided to try and stim­u­late in­ter­est in en­gi­neer­ing and the ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able from ap­pren­tice­ships by en­gag­ing with lo­cal schools with our en­gi­neer­ing chal­lenge.

“The chal­lenge con­sisted of stu­dents work­ing along­side Sil­ver­son ap­pren­tices for five days to build a real ma­chine to pro­pel a wa­ter bal­loon the fur­thest dis­tance, based on sup­plied draw­ings, s t imu la t ing re­source­ful­ness, in­no­va­tion, and tech­ni­cal and prac­ti­cal skills among the stu­dent par­tic­i­pants.”

Par­tic­i­pat­ing stu­dent, Jes­sica Teix­eira, said: “I en­joyed the whole ex­pe­ri­ence, es­pe­cially work­ing as a team. I took great pride in do­ing my best and felt very proud of my achieve­ments. I would like a ca­reer in en­gi­neer­ing.”

Af­ter strug­gling to re­cruit ap­pren­tices last year, this chal­lenge was over­sub­scribed and since the end of the chal­lenge Sil­ver­son has re­ceived a num­ber of queries about the next ap­pren­tice­ship in­take in Septem­ber.

Head of skills and busi­ness sup­port at Buck­ing­hamshire Busi­ness First Heather Dean said: “Lo­cally we have more em­ploy­ers pre­pared to of­fer ap­pren­tice­ships than there are suit­able young peo­ple to fill them.

“Where em­ploy­ers in Buck­ing­hamshire have of­fered ap­pren­tice­ships, they re­port the ap­pli­cants for ap­pren­tice­ships are small in num­ber and poor in qual­ity.”

Skills De­vel­op­ment Man­ager at Buck­ing­hamshire Thames Val­ley Lo­cal En­ter­prise Part­ner­ship Jackie Camp­bell said: “In our high achiev­ing county, young peo­ple are look­ing for ful­fill­ing ca­reers and it is im­por­tant that ap­pren­tice­ships are con­sid­ered as a se­ri­ous op­tion along­side the de­fault paths of col­lege and univer­sity. We fully sup­port ini­tia­tives like the Sil­ver­son en­gi­neer­ing chal­lenge, to help de­velop in­dus­try led skills and raise aware­ness of the ca­reer ben­e­fits and op­por­tu­ni­ties of ap­pren­tice­ships for mo­ti­vated young stu­dents.”

Ap­pren­tice­ships en­able peo­ple to ac­quire the skills needed for a par­tic­u­lar job role or pro­fes­sion, at the same time as be­ing em­ployed and also gain­ing a qual­i­fi­ca­tion linked to the achieve­ment of the skills.

The Buck­ing­hamshire Skills Hub is highly in­stru­men­tal in help­ing lo­cal busi­nesses reach stu­dents and help pre­pare them for the fast-chang­ing world of work.

A key el­e­ment of the Skills Hub is the on­line hub (www.oppsin­bucks.org), which con­nects em­ploy­ers and ed­u­ca­tors in the same way that other sites con­nect buy­ers and sellers, or ser­vice providers and ser­vice users.

Em­ploy­ers are able to reg­is­ter their will­ing­ness to get in­volved and state what they have to of­fer in terms of re­sources, vis­its, men­tor­ing, work ex­pe­ri­ence, part-time work, ap­pren­tice­ships; and ed­u­ca­tors can re­spond to of­fers or post spe­cific re­quests for sup­port.

Oppsin­Bucks and the Skills Hub helped Sil­ver­son to con­nect with ed­u­ca­tors and young peo­ple, to build the bridge be­tween education and in­dus­try.

Stu­dents in­ter­ested in ap­ply­ing for the Sil­ver­son Ap­pren­tice­ship Scheme can call Alan Pep­per on 01494 786 331. COL­LEAGUES at a build­ing so­ci­ety branch in Che­sham are cel­e­brat­ing af­ter be­ing named Sav­ings Branch of the Year.

The Skip­ton Build­ing So­ci­ety’s Star Awards 2016 fea­tured rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the branch in Mar­ket Square re­ceiv­ing the ac­co­lade at the so­ci­ety’s an­nual con­fer­ence.

Sarah Daniels, man­ager, said: “This is a great hon­our for ev­ery­one at our branch as it is the se­cond year run­ning we have won a Star award. Last year we won the Branch of the Year cat­e­gory. We have worked hard to de­liver an ex­cel­lent ser­vice for our cus­tomers and this is a fan­tas­tic re­ward. This makes it all worth­while.

“Che­sham won this award be­cause our cus­tomers bring their sav­ings to us.

“They trust us and love our No Pres­sure Prom­ise and are happy to speak to us about their sav­ings and what they are look­ing to achieve.”

From left, Jackie Camp­bell, BTVLEP Skills De­vel­op­ment Man­ager, win­ning stu­dents for long­est dis­tance and Andy Darby, Ap­pren­tice­ship

Train­ing Man­ager for Sil­ver­son.

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