BTEC engineering students from Twynham School and the Grange School got an exclusive opportunity last week to visit two multinational engineering companies based in Christchurch.
Cobham Special Mission and Signature TechnicAir opened the doors of their hangers to a group of Year 10 students and provided a unique insight in to potential careers in aircraft maintenance.
The inspirational school trips were organised by the Economic Development Team at Christchurch and East Dorset Councils. The team recognise that there is a skills shortage in the aerospace and advanced engineering sector locally and want to help promote this financially rewarding career to students, which they might otherwise overlook.
Cllr Vicki Hallam, Portfolio Holder for Growth & Economy at Christchurch Borough Council, said ‘’I’m delighted that we were able to arrange these positive events for young people locally. The students who took part are at key point in their lives, when they are considering their future employment paths.
‘’I would like to sincerely thank Phil Lammiman at Signature Technicair and David Firth at Cobham Special Mission who helped us broaden the horizons of the pupils and inspired them to consider a career in the aircraft maintenance industry.’’
The events allowed students to get close to planes and even sit in the cockpit. They heard some inspiring stories from long standing employees at both Cobham Special Mission and Signature TechnicAir and they also met some apprentices who were now working in jobs they really enjoyed, that allowed for progression and also had a competitive salary.
Despite the employees at both Cobham Special Mission and Signature TechnicAir working in enormous hangers, there was a real sense of team spirit and a supportive workforce which resonated with both the students and teachers on the visit.
Rob Palmer, Deputy Head of Twynham School and The Grange School, said: ‘’For our students to see, experience, and hear about the exciting opportunities offered with a career as an Aircraft Engineer was nothing short of brilliant.
‘’The planning and effort put into the visit by the team at Christchurch and East Dorset Councils really showed through. The students were totally engaged throughout the visit and talked excitedly on the way back to school. I believe this opportunity has inspired some students to seriously consider this sector as a future career.’’
The Economic Development Team continues to work with schools, colleges and local businesses to help bridge the skills gap in the engineering industry locally.