Outwood Academy students launch Made in Chesterfield’s new schools’ programme
Students from Outwood Academy Newbold have kicked off the first of a year-long programme of Made in Chesterfield events which are designed to introduce young people to careers in the manufacturing, engineering, science and technology industries in the town.
Seven A Level Chemistry students from the school visited Aztec Oils in Bolsover to learn about the company, wider industry and career opportunities available. The students had a tour of the manufacturing facility with particular emphasis on the laboratory where Aztec Oils carries out extensive quality control procedures as well as Research and Development into new products.
Aztec Oils is one of a number of companies operating in the town’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) sector that have signed up to the Made in Chesterfield.
Launched in 2015 in response to companies in the sector reporting long term recruitment difficulties, Made in Chesterfield has been instrumental in raising awareness of careers in the sector with 3,000 students reached since the campaign began.
As part of the year-long campaign, which is co-ordinated by Destination Chesterfield in partnership with Derbyshire Education Business Partnership, a number of companies in the sector will be following Aztec Oils; lead and hosting hands-on tours of their sites and going into schools to meet students and give talks.
Mark Lord, Managing Director of Aztec Oils, commented: We welcome the opportunity to partner with local education establishments to bridge the gap between learning and workplace environments. Aztec Oils is a rapidly growing company and we recognise the real need to encourage youngsters to consider a career in manufacturing. By showcasing the company, we hope to demonstrate what great opportunities there are for well-paid, long term employment with good prospects for career development.”
Kirsty Beggar, a Chemistry teacher at Outwood Academy Newbold who led the trip to Aztec oils commented: “Trips like these really benefit our students. It gives them a chance to see some real-life application of what they learn in their textbook. When they are going through what they’ve learnt and are revising it, they’ll think of this visit to Aztec Oils, what goes on in the labs and what the industry is about.”
All primary and secondary schools throughout North East Derbyshire are being encouraged to sign up to the campaign and discover the opportunities in the sector available to current and future school leavers. Employers in the sector are offering school leavers a variety of opportunities, including apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships and graduate training scheme.
Ivan Fomin, Destination Chesterfield board member responsible for manufacturing and engineering in the borough, highlighted the importance of attracting young people to companies operating within Chesterfield’s STEM sector. He said: “With HS2 on the horizon and Talgo’s recent investment in the town, there is the opportunity for the region to become recognised as an international centre of rail research and innovation.
“Made in Chesterfield is playing an instrumental role in bringing together education providers and businesses to ensure local young talent is aware of the myriad of STEM jobs and careers available here.”
Charlotte Land, STEM Ambassador Hub Manager at DEBP, added: “The Made in Chesterfield programme is a brilliant opportunity for young people and teachers to gain an insight into the amazing companies on their doorstep. DEBP work with employers to develop their programme offer and introduce them to local schools.
“The programme is an essential part of our work as a STEM Ambassador Hub to bridge the STEM skills gap through challenging perceptions of engineering and manufacturing by introducing young people to positive role models and work environments.”
Sponsored by University of Derby, the 2019/20 Made in Chesterfield campaign was officially launched at Barrow Hill Roundhouse in November following news that Spanish train manufacturer Talgo has established its UK head office at the facility. At the event, plans were also unveiled for an innovation centre which Talgo has plans to build on land at Barrow Hill Roundhouse.
In addition to the University of Derby, Made in Chesterfield is also run in partnership with MSE Hiller, United Cast Bar Ltd, NatWest and Placing Futures.
To find out more about Made in Chesterfield and discover how your school can get involved, please visit https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/made/.