How many UK manufacturers are currently bemoaning the availability of quality, skilled people available to meet their business needs in a growing manufacturing market? How many UK Manufacturer’s are criticising the output from their local educational establishments and the attitude of young candidates being put in front of them? Now ask how many UK manufacturer’s are actually getting involved to help address these issues. Fortunately the answer to the latter point is “a lot more now than a couple of years ago”.
The Scarborough engineering community are a leading light when it comes to inspiring the engineers of tomorrow and pride themselves on the work they are continuing to do to support the growth of high quality home-grown talent in the Scarborough and East Yorks area. This region houses an eye opening range of engineering companies from major food suppliers like McCains to sub-sea robotics and high end specification machine builders such as Unison Ltd.
Now in its fifth year and with support from the Scarborough Business Ambassador network the event has gone from strength to strength – this year being extended to a four day event.
Festo were once again proud to be sponsoring the event and to be promoting STEM subjects to school children students and their parents. The show combines educational establishments with local and not so local industries to showcase engineering careers.
This year Festo provided ample opportunity for some hands on engineering in the form of pneumatic circuit design and control of a robotic assembly system. Students were able to grasp the concept of how we can use air to power industrial equipment and how electronics can help to provide complex control systems to manufacture everything from their i-phones to car production lines. Initial fears over completing the tasks were met with huge smiles and a real sense of achievement when they could see the outcome of their work.
Many nearby engineer’s were amazed to see such young children ( 9-10 year minimum) grasp the concept of combining sensors, actuators and control logics to complete complex tasks within a matter of minutes. Much of this comes down to the quality of the FMS training equipment supplied by Festo Didactic but the largest element is within the capacity of the children to apply themselves once their interest was captured.
The Festo team left the event tired and drained (some 3,000 students attended both day and night) but with a renewed faith in the future of UK manufacturing and confident that we had helped to inspire at least a few more engineers of tomorrow.