The ability to attract young people from different backgrounds into the engineering profession is something the Engineering Council and the Professional Engineering Institutions are putting significant effort into. These organisations rely on the private

sector to be highly active in making such central strategies a reality and recently Superior, a UK manufacturer of high integrity O-rings and seals in Dorset, took 17-year-old Holly Dore from Blandford into its apprenticeship programme. Currently studying for her A-levels in

physics, biology, chemistry and Level 3 Core Maths at Queen Elizabeth’s School in Wimborne, Dore dipped her toe into the waters of engineering by taking part in work experience at Superior. Due to start her apprenticeship in

September this year, Dore has spent two work experience sessions in 2018 and April this year in the run-up to embarking on her engineering career. The idea of a career in STEM was born

out of an apprenticeship fair held at her school. “I went round to speak to the different companies and the Superior team were really nice. I asked if they offered work experience and they said that they did. Superior also runs The QEube event at my school’s annual ACE Festival, which is a sports and charity event,” said.

WORK EXPERIENCE Asked whether the work experience gave her useful insight into what lay ahead, Dore explained that she had been involved in making a brass g-clamp and a g-clamp screw. “This year, I was involved in solving a

real engineering problem where parts were getting stuck on a sensor,” she explained. “We made a small acrylic guard for the

machine, which was then given to the quality team to test. We made it using the CNC mill and tested it where we realised that it needed another groove and so we re-wrote the programme that I drew for the machine. “We also made an O-ring jig using a

manual lathe. I was using the programme on the computer for the CNC lathe, so you draw the programme on the computer and

38 /// Testing & Test Houses /// June 2019

❱❱ Good apprenticeships blend practical engineering skills with academic advancement

then it will make the part for you,” she added. Being involved in such challenging tasks

helped Dore to gain some insight of the scope of engineering, an experience she found valuable. “I knew that I wanted to work in

engineering before and I’ve always been interested in science, but it’s quite a broad term, so I wasn’t sure what that entailed and what parts I would enjoy. Now that I’ve finished the work experience, I realise that this is something that I really want to do. It’s good fun,” she concluded. Far from being limited to cutting metal

and programming manufacturing equipment, her apprenticeship will provide many opportunities for both practical training and academic advancement as all apprentices at Superior are given the opportunity to gain a degree.


Gibbons Engineering Group in Essex is also hoping to inspire young people into a career in STEM. The manufacturer of drives, pumps and

gearboxes is celebrating its half-century with events and open days to which children from local schools will be invited to see what the engineering company does first hand. According to Gibbons, the exciting

opportunities available to young people pursuing a career in engineering aren’t always widely known, and not enough young people, especially girls, are considering a career in engineering when they think about their futures. As part of its open day programme,

Gibbons will give school children the opportunity to try some hands-on engineering activities, which the company hopes will give them a taste of the challenging and varied careers available to them in the industry.

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