2017 Aug - Summer Academy celebrates at Cutlers' Hall by William Allender

Last week saw an evening of celebration to recognise the achievements of the 2017 work-wise Summer Academy graduates at The Cutlers Hall.


The students were joined by family members, teachers, business representatives, Trustees of work-wise and Leadership Forum members.


Work-wise is an employer-inspired and -led initiative to support the development of young people so they have the knowledge, skills aptitude and opportunities for employment. The work-wise Summer Academy is for young people, aged 14 to 18, keen to get a head start and a real taste and experience of a working environment. It includes a 4 day employability skills induction programme designed by employers accompanied by visits and tours of The Diamond Sheffield University, Tinsley Bridge Group, Magna and The Cutlers Hall.


On the first day of Summer Academy the students were taught about the do's and don'ts of an interview as well as having to complete numerous team building exercises designed  to develop communication and confidence skills. This was held in The Diamond Building where the students had free time to explore the fantastic building, experience flight simulators and watch the robots been developed.


The second day was held at Tinsley Bridge Group where the students had a hands on tour of the factory learning about how the machines are operated and a range of products were produced. The students then had chance to ask apprentices questions about their jobs which opened up different career paths for the young students.



On the third day the students visited Magna where the day consisted of creative team building activities. The students learned how to work as an efficient team whilst experiencing how a production line works. To finish the day the students were given access to Magna's Science Adventure Centre free of charge where they learnt lots of interesting facts while having a enjoyable time.


The final day of Summer Academy was held a Cutlers Hall where the students practised interview techniques preparing them for future life. The day ended with a tour of the Cutlers Hall and a celebration where the students were joined by family members to celebrate the huge achievement they had accomplished.


William Allender, 15 from Bradfield School said  "Summer Academy was an incredible, beneficial experience and I am extremely grateful I had the opportunity to attend. It was such a useful way to spend a week of my holidays because I know that doing this course will be helpful to me in the future. This course was a fun-filled experience packed with information and I recommend it to everyone."


By William Allender, Year 10 Bradfield School, Summer Academy Graduate

2017 Aug - Cutlers' Ambassadors - My Story so far by William Allender

My name is William Allender, I'm 15 years old and attend Bradfield School. I joined the Cutlers' Ambassadors programme through my school and have been an active part of the programme for over 2 years now.


I was recruited as an Ambassador at the end of Year 8 and have been on programme throughout Years 9 and 10, with pathway sessions and Cutlers' Ambassador graduation in Year 11. The bulk of activity ahead of Year 11 means I can maintain focus on their GCSEs and also develop knowledge and skills that will help me in my GCSE subjects.


The programme operates with a small number of students in each school. Students have to apply and go through a formal selection process to become an Ambassador and participate in a sector programme.

Cutlers' Ambassadors is intended to embed work skills into the curriculum through real life projects, work placements, internships, and greater engagement between businesses and schools. This project initially focused on students wishing to work in the engineering and manufacturing sector and has since been extended to the NHS and is now growing into many other sectors. A Cutlers' "Made in Sheffield" Passport is issued to those who have successfully completed the project. This will show the work and real life skills that they have gained and is signed off both by school staff and employers.  


I have been a Cutlers' Ambassador for 2 years and, so far, the experience has been a fantastic, beneficial use of my time. I have gained a variety of skills which I can implement in future life when going for interviews and attending work. I have been opened to a lot of useful information which had taught me more about the world of work and helped me understand various career paths suitable for me. I have an opportunity to speak to a range of audiences, support the delivery of the programme and contribute my views to help shape and develop the programme for other young people.


As an Ambassador I am expected to represent my school and their business sector. I am also expected to share what I know and what I have learnt about the world of work and the business sector with other students on the programme.


I am thoroughly enjoying the Cutlers' programme so far and I am looking forward to the future. I have made lots of new friends through this programme and had time to learn and adapt new skills. I have gained lots of information and I am now confident about my future career. I recommend this programme to anyone interested in the engineering sector.


By William Allender, Year 10 Bradfield School, Cutlers' Ambassador

2017 May - Yewlands Academy working with JRI Orthopaedics win 3i Innovation Competition

Year 9 Students (13-14 years old) competing in the 3i work-wise Made in Sheffield Innovation Competition, pitching their creativity and design skills against other schools in a challenge set by employers. This year’s winners were Yewlands Academy working with JRI Orthopaedics from Sheffield.


Yewlands Academy team pictured with Mayor of Rotherham Cllr Lyndsay Pitchley, Master Cutler Richard Edwards and Mayor of Sheffield Cllr Denise Fox.

3i Innovation Competition Individual winner was Patryk Abat from Mexborough Academy who were working with Vulcan to the Sky.


Pictured L-R Ian Straw - Vulcan to the Sky; Richard Edwards - Master Cutler; Mayor of Rotherham Cllr Lyndsay Pitchley; Patryk Abat from Mexborough Academy; Mayor of Sheffield Cllr Denise Fox.

Highly Commended were the all girls team from Handsworth Grange.

2017 May - More youngsters than ever join the Engineering and Manufacturing starting Grid at Get up to Speed 2017…..

Over 2,100 young people and those who influence them attended the 7th Annual Get up to Speed with Engineering and Manufacturing event at Magna Science and Adventure Centre in Rotherham on 26th April. It proved to be the largest and most interactive yet.


Driven by the regions employers and sponsored by AESSEAL plc, Sheffield Tooling Company Ltd, Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Get up to Speed is a highly interactive event aimed at showcasing the manufacturing, engineering and technology sectors, its employers and employment opportunities to school children, students, parents and educators. The event aims to inspire; building confidence and knowledge in these sectors as a great place to work in a fun and interactive way.


The event certainly seemed to be in the right gear, Mum, Alison Bawden who attended with her 14 year old daughter commenting “Brilliant day, so interesting, lots to see and do and we learned loads about all different aspects of engineering and work opportunities around the sector. We are definitely coming again next year!”


Get up to Speed is aimed to inspire and appeal to all ages, Alison Sutton, Assistant Head at Kingfisher Primary said, we’ve had a fantastic day, even better than last year, can we book again for next year?” Whilst secondary school Dronfield Henry Fanshawe tweeted, “a great day encouraging students to follow STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), enjoying the wonder of Sheffield and Derbyshire.”

Talking after the event John Barber, co-founder of the work-wise Foundation Charity and Chair of the GUTS Steering Group explained more “Get up to Speed is free to attend and is designed to inspire and inform through a wide range of hands on activities, this year we had over 70 different businesses, support and education organisations. It’s all about learning through experiencing and our attractions this year ranged from Virtual Reality Welding, CNC Machining, VR and Augmented Reality tools for the rail industry to a human powered glider, hang gliders, build a bi-plane with Vulcan and inspiring role model Lauren Richardson, female stunt pilot. Vehicles included Rail Ranger, an off road vehicle that also runs on rail tracks, F1 and Motorcycle simulators, University Formula Racing Teams, 10 metre Scalextric and the full-size Bloodhound SSC Education car plus schools rocket car challenge (winners pictured below).  We have even mobilised the Army and REME bringing a Husky Armoured Car and other vehicles…….. the list goes on, we even had a Dalek!

Recognising the importance of those who influence young people’s choices this year we added the “Futures Zone” supported by the IET and IMechE which provided Teacher Awareness Seminars equipping educators with knowledge and practical activities to take back into school and spread the word further.   


Young people are at the heart of the day with Cutlers’ Ambassador Students helping design some of the activities and Year 9 Students (13-14 years old) competing in the 3i work-wise Made in Sheffield Innovation Competition, pitching their creativity and design skills against other schools in a challenge set by employers. This year’s winners were Yewlands Academy working with JRI Orthopaedics from Sheffield.”

The Made in Sheffield brand is recognised around the world and the Sheffield region is renowned internationally for its expertise in high-precision engineering, metals production, new technologies and the high-quality design and manufacturing of products for a wide range of global industries. With 186,000 new engineers required nationally per year between now and 2024 to fill the expected skills gap and with engineering and manufacturing firmly placed on the national agenda, national and local companies understand the need to help celebrate and promote the industry not just nationally and internationally but importantly locally to ensure that there are enough talented and skilled young people entering the industry to fill the region’s growing skills needs. 


From a national perspective speaking on why they got involved Alan Mucklow, Managing Director UK & Ireland from Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd said “The GUTS event is a fantastic platform for young people from the Northern region to come and experience for themselves the exciting career opportunities that are available in UK manufacturing at this moment in time. We’re very proud to join the event and showcase the innovations our Smooth Technology brings to manufacturing”


Stephen Shaw, Group Engineering Director at AESSEAL plc explains why they got involved “The success of AESSEAL is dependent upon its ability to innovate and bring products to market. We are proud to support the GUTS event, which rightly focuses on innovation, design, manufacturing and engineering in the local area. Get up to Speed is an excellent opportunity for young people to engage with future employers and explore potential career options.”


Many local companies, and increasingly national companies get involved in the event through The work-wise Foundation and attend with their apprentices and graduates to talk to young people and those who educate and influence them about the opportunities and careers open to them. 7 years on some of those early visitors were now attending as apprentices and graduates and telling their own stories and inspiring others.


Following the success of this year’s event the date and venue has already been set for next year, 18th April 2018 at Magna Science Adventure Centre.  Anyone interested in getting involved should contact John Barber at  or visit to find out more and register.

2017 Jan - The work-wise Foundation and Made in Sheffield Launch the 2017 3i Innovation Competition

The launch event held on Monday 23rd January at AMRC-Training Centre, Rotherham saw 9 teams of students teamed up with 9 companies.


Year 7 to 11 students from a secondary school are teamed up with a local engineering, manufacturing or technology business to work on a real-life industry specific innovation challenge set by the company.  The challenge runs from January 2017 to 26th April 2017.


Supported by the IET and IMechE through their joint Engineering Education Grant Scheme each challenge is set by a business to simulate an actual business problem, giving insight into the daily challenges faced in business.  The challenges enable participants not only to understand product design and development, taking the product to market, contributing directly to enterprise and entrepreneurship.

This year’s 9 teams are:


  • Mexborough Academy with Vulcan to the Sky
  • Wingfield Academy with AMRC-TC (pictured below)
  • Stocksbridge High School with Parker Hannifin
  • Westfield School with Sheffield Tooling Co Ltd (pictured above)
  • Bradfield School with Riley’s Machine Tools
  • Outwood City Academy with Numill (pictured right)
  • Yewlands Academy with JRI Orthopaedics
  • Handsworth Grange with Sheffield College
  • Sheffield Park Academy with Chimo Holdings


The teams will display and present their work and their finished product/design at the annual Get up to Speed with Engineering and Manufacturing, careers showcase at Magna in Rotherham on 26th April 2017.  The teams will be interviewed by an independent judging panel of leaders.


This year’s Get up to Speed event already has over 1,000 young people booked to attend and 50  exhibitors and exciting attractions including Lauren Richardson, one of the top aerobatic display pilots in the UK; CNC machine manufacturer Yamazaki Mazak; British Armed Forces; Build a Plane project; University of Lincoln, Robotics, VR and 3D printing; F1 simulator and 10m STEM Scalextric challenge.

2016 Dec - Youngsters improve their job prospects by attending Get up to Speed

For many young people attending Get up to Speed with Engineering and Manufacturing (GUTS) literally changed their lives. Now in its 7th year GUTS is the largest event in the region showcasing careers in engineering, manufacturing and technology in a fun and interactive way. A range of the region’s top companies in the sector are there looking for future talent.


Many companies have identified and recruited such talent from those young people who have attended GUTS. 



One of 2016’s sponsors AESSEAL plc in Rotherham did just that when they met Kate Richardson, 29, from Doncaster who is now a Test House Engineer.  She came to Get up to Speed four years ago where she was introduced to AESSEAL.  She undertook a machining based apprenticeship before moving into a more commercial role. Four years ago, Kate left Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Art, but had an interest in metal work and fabrication. She had grown up on a farm but wanted something more hands on and practical. She attended GUTS and spoke to Richard Cook, AESSEAL’s then Production and Personnel Director, and began her apprenticeship with a mixture of work in the workshop and commercial sales office.  As a Test House Engineer Kate who is now involved in product development and handling customer orders.


Callum Tingle, 18, is a former pupil of St Bernard's Catholic High School in Rotherham.  Now working in the Quality department, he started in the Commercial department but developed a preference for quality. He came to GUTS in 2014 and arranged work experience with Richard Cook of Castings Technology International in Rotherham after showing him his portfolio of work. In August after finishing school he joined Castings Technology International as an apprentice. As part of his apprenticeship he did one day in sales, two days in quality, one day in the laboratory and one day in college (AMRC Training Centre, partnered with Barnsley College). Having started in the commercial department in August 2014, Callum discovered an interest in the Quality department, and moved across full time into Quality in January along with receiving a promotion. Callum completed this year a BTEC level 3 diploma in Manufacturing and Engineering. He has carried out a work based project on research and testing for six months looking at process improvement within the business.


GUTS is free to attend for young people (primary through to university), families, teachers and members of the public. Next year’s event takes place on Wednesday 26th April 2017 at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, the doors open between 10 am to 6 pm, and people can simply come along and register on the day. More details can be found at


Get up to Speed is now calling for companies to get involved with exhibition stands and sponsorship opportunities available, to find out more and discuss how you can get involved in the largest careers showcase in the Sheffield City Region, contact John Barber on or 07500 331400.


In 2016 in addition to the Bloodhound Supersonic Car other attractions included Rolls Royce aircraft engines, a whole range of motor vehicles from alternative powered vehicles (Electric BMWi 8, Tesla and ITM Power hydrogen powered vehicles) to Rally and Formula Racing cars (some built by students), a range of hands on simulators, virtual reality experiences, including welding, giant digital Scalextric track (10 X 10 metres), and the fastest blind driver in the world. In addition over 60 companies and training organisations/colleges/universities were present with their apprentices and graduates to give a real feel to jobs and careers in the industry. Oh and there was also a Dalek and free Our Cow Molly Ice Cream!

2016 November - work-wise hires new associate Sarah Ward

Following a successful year of growth, The work-wise Foundation has been expanding their range of programmes and company training, Sarah Ward has joined as an associate to assist with delivery of a number of the initiatives. Sarah brings many years engineering industry experience as the former MD and Operations Director of Straaltechniek UK Ltd.


Sarah said "I've worked with John, Jackie and Janice over the past few years in my role as an engineering business champion supporting Westfield School and also having students at the company on work experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with them and seeing the difference they have made."


When John asked if I would like to become an associate, I was really pleased as I really support the work they are doing and like them I too want to make a difference to these young adults."

2016 October - Going national - leading the way!

The Guardian highlights the impact of The work-wise Foundation's partnership with Hatfield Academy in engaging local SME's to help inspire primary children about careers in STEM related occupations, as a national report from Teach First urges all SME's to give  one day a year to work in schools to help children and young people understand and prepare for work.


For further reading, check the Guardian's Teacher Network

2016 September - Summer Camp graduates at Cutlers Hall

Last week saw an evening of celebration to recognise the achievements of the 26, 2016 work-wise Summer Camp graduates at The Cutlers Hall.


The work-wise Summer Camp graduates were joined by family members, teachers, business representatives, Trustees of work-wise and Leadership Forum members. 


The Summer Camp programme is for 14 to 18 year olds to provide a real taste and experience of the working environment.  It includes a 2 day employability skills induction programme designed by employers before the students then experiencing 5 days in the workplace.  All Summer Camp graduates are added to the work-wise database guaranteeing job interviews with work-wise supporter employers.


It was an opportunity to thank those employers and other organisations who have supported the programme including AMG Superalloys, JRI Orthopaedic, Naylor Industries, Cobra Sports, Sheffield Forgemasters, Tinsley Bridge, Aerzon, CQ Strategic Marketing and Hydra Creative.


The event was hosted by Richard Edwards, the Senior Warden of The Company of Cutlers for Hallamshire, as The Master Cutler, Craig Mckay was out of the country with a short presentations from The work-wise Foundation President, Richard Caborn and Chairman, Chris Hudson.


Jennie Grice, 15 from Sheffield Springs Academy said “Working with CQ Strategic Marketing for five days showed me how the real world and the world of work is, and has taught me many things, one being time management and making sure I’m organised for the big day ahead.  I am keen to come back next year to gain more experience in another business.”


John Barber, co-founder and senior associate at the work-wise Foundation said "This is the 4th Summer Camp work-wise has delivered and it is certainly one of the highlights of our year. The students never cease to amaze us with their enthusiasm and desire to learn and give themselves the best possible opportunities. The Graduation event gives us all a chance to celebrate some amazing personal achievements and milestones and what is even more rewarding is to see and welcome back some former graduates who are now working in the companies where they had their initial Summer camp placements. "


Pictured above - Presentation by Summer Camp students to some of the employers:

L-R Professor Stephen Beck (The Diamond, University of Sheffield) Rachel Jarvis (MD Cobra Sports Exhausts Ltd), Shimayla & Sam, Laura Barber (AMG Superalloys UK Ltd), Jackie Cook (CQ Strategic Marketing)


Pictured right L-R Barry Cunliffe (FD Tinsley Bridge Group),  David Fletcher (Sheffield Forgemasters), Stuart Murphy (MD Rollem), Shimayla & Ben, Richard Edwards (Senior Warden Cutlers' Company), Chris Hudson (Chimo Holdings)  

2016 August - Jennie experiences the world of work at CQ Strategic Marketing

During August 2016, Jennie Grice (15) from Sheffield Springs Academy in Sheffield has completed a week’s work experience with CQ Strategic Marketing. Jennie’s work experience was part of the Summer Camp programme run by The work-wise Foundation, which gives 14 – 18 year olds work experience during the summer holidays supported by two days of employability skills induction. Jennie had the opportunity to go to places such as LBBC Technologies and their sister company LBBC Beechwood in Leeds, Rollem in Barnsley, and Newburgh Precision in Rotherham. During this time, Jennie attended a meeting about the annual Get up to Speed (GUTS) careers showcase on Wednesday, with discussions around how to improve the GUTS event and promotion, along with sharing ideas about Get up to Speed 2017.


Jennie Grice said “Working with CQ Strategic Marketing for five days showed me how the real world and the world of work is, and has taught me many things, one being time management and making sure I’m organised for the big day ahead.”


During her work experience Jennie helped update the company's marketing database, created content for and updated client social media accounts, helped update content onto a new client website, wrote copy for CQ's news pages and prepared copy for a client press release from basic notes on the case studies and forthcoming event.


Jackie Cook, Managing Director said "Jennie has proved a useful asset to our company this week getting involved in a range of client work under guidance from Claire and myself.  She has got involved in everything from admin to updating website content. She has been professional, willing to learn and interested in finding out more.  The work-wise team have provided a good opportunity for our business to gain extra help and provide an engaging real insight into the world of work for these students, I'd be happy to support them in the future."


Janice Richardson from work-wise commented 'Young people who dedicate part of their summer holiday to gain experiential learning about the world of work demonstrate, beyond a shadow of doubt, that they will make excellent employees in the future. Jennie along with other Summer Campers have excelled in their commitment. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with these young people, they should be very proud of themselves. A massive thank you to all the local employers like CQ. Strategic Marketing who volunteer their time and resources to help young people better prepare for the transition into work."


For more details about Summer Camp please click here.

2016 July - STEMfest marks ‘dynamic learning’ at a Sheffield academy

STEMfest, a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, marked the end of a whole year’s focus on exciting learning for pupils at Sheffield’s Hatfield Academy. Dynamic and engaging STEM (science, technology, engineering and match) projects for pupils have been designed to spark their interest in the subjects, and help them appreciate the vast range of potential careers that can result from studying them.


Throughout the year, students have taken part in special weekly lessons when industry experts have been welcomed into school as STEM ambassadors.


Companies that have been involved throughout the year include: Naylor Construction, Owen Springs, CTI and Visualised it, all of whom have demonstrated a strong commitment to deepening pupils’ understanding of STEM and the wider picture of the world of work and employability.


At the culmination of the year’s studies, pupils taking part in July’s STEMfest got involved in diverse practical activities. These ranged from racing rockets with STEM and Bloodhound Ambassador Nick Naylor, to exploring the power engines with Torston Middleton from Newburgh Engineering.


Tracy Keenan, assistant head at Hatfield, said: “At Hatfield, we creatively disrupt the traditional view of education. Our pioneering STEM programme provides a platform for aspiration and creative opportunity for our pupils, ensuring they have a wider understanding of the world around them.”


Jackie Freeborn, from Work-wise. said: “It is extremely rewarding to be involved in a programme that widens pupils’ STEM knowledge of the world while building their aspiration to be part of it.”


Companies that took part in STEMFest were: Selfix, Work-wise, Casting Technology International, Visualised It, Smile, UPSCIENCE, Newburgh Precision, Dave Mappin Racing, and UK STEM Ltd.


Involvement with activities that took place over the past year also included Airmaster, Arcoa, Bloodhound ssc, Green Fox, the Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Enjunior, Chimo holdings, Casting Technology International, Keepmoat, The Cutlers Company, Magnomatics, Naylor Industries, Owen Springs, Parker, Smile, Zachrome, World of Super Heroes, Curtain Call, Dave Mappin Racing, and UK STEM Ltd.


Other projects have run alongside the curriculum timetable.


Students compiled a video about their STEM learning, and made three industry visits, to Naylor Industries, The Cutlers Company and Casting Technology International.


At the CTI visit, pupils observed their own designs being cast in aluminium, using leading edge world class technology.


Their final products were presented for all to see at STEMfest and will continue to be displayed in school. For many students interested in STEM subjects, outside influences are an important part of their learning.


Business can play a key role in educating young people, the academy believes . Combining traditional teaching, technology and business is seen to offer a more rounded education.


Article by Sheffield Star


Read more at:

2016 June - Hatfield School visit to Naylor Industries

Naylor’s COO Bridie Warner-Adsetts and colleagues hosted a group of school children from Hatfield Academy on an industry visit to Naylor’s Cawthorne manufacturing site as part of the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education programme.


Naylor is committed to supporting a range of programmes delivered by The Work-Wise Foundation – supporting the future generation workforce through their preparation for the world of work and to inspiring them to take up careers in manufacturing and engineering.


The Industry visit was open to the children who had excelled in a series of STEM classes delivered in school by Naylor Engineer’s. Bridie herself delivered some of the classes, working with the children to make clay and plastic objects and incorporating weights, measures, science, craft and creativity into the lessons.


John Barber Co-Founder of Work-Wise said “I wanted to say a huge thank you to Bridie and the whole team at Naylor (especially Jim, Elliott, Danny, Dan, Steve and the canteen ladies) for arranging an unforgettable experience for the Hatfield children today”.  “The preparation, care, time and resource commitment plus your generosity is truly amazing. Not forgetting of course the time you and the team have already given to support the students in school before today. They were heard to say “this is the best trip ever” – high praise indeed. Have to say I really enjoyed it too!” 


Bridie said “it was a privilege to work with the 60 or so children that took part in the Year 5 STEM experience. It was a personal development opportunity for the Naylor team by working outside of our comfort zone in school. It was a pleasure to share our knowledge with the enquiring minds of the children who were really engaged with learning. It’s our duty to encourage young people to lead a productive life beyond their formal education years and if some of them are inspired to have a career in the dynamic world of manufacturing and engineering that will be a great bonus”.


Tracy Keenan, Assistant Head Teacher, Hatfield Academy said “We really appreciate the amount of time and preparation you have given to our pupils.  It is so valuable for them to see STEM in context and in action.  They felt very special and privileged today. Thank you once again for your huge generosity and commitment to our school.”

2016 May - Parker mentors engineers of the future in schools' challenge

Staff from Parker in Sheffield have been involved with a mentoring project with Bradfield Technical College, which is helping to inspire young engineers for the future.
The technical college took part, alongside eight other South Yorkshire schools, in the ‘Get up to Speed’ (GUTS) Innovation and Design challenge and Parker worked with two teams, the first was tasked with designing a cleaning station for use on the factory floor and the other designed and built a Heijunka – an organiser in which work dockets can be stored in the factory.
Marie Cooper, Cutlers Ambassador and Plant Manager at Parker PEGL, said: “The GUTS challenge is such a fantastic way for young people to gain hands-on experience of designing and manufacturing a product from start to finish.  It’s this kind of real life experience that employers are looking for. We were so impressed with the results which really came together over these last few days and our staff mentors have found this a very enjoyable and fulfilling project to be involved with.”
Marie Cooper continues: “This is the second time we have been involved in the Get up to Speed challenge and, just like last year, we have been very impressed with the hard work and innovation shown by these budding young engineers.  There was a really high standard at this year’s competition and the whole project is about inspiring young people about the many different career roles in engineering business.”
Libbie Revitt from ‘Sweep n Neat’ at Bradfield Technology College, said: “We all worked really well together as a team, with each of us taking on different roles.  We planned what work we needed to get done on the project week by week and all had a part to play in the design and in welding the cleaning station together.  It was great to learn from the staff at Parker and we all feel proud of what we have achieved.”
The ‘Get up to Speed’ event, which was held at Magna in Rotherham on 20th April, was attended by 2,000 school children from over 40 schools, with over 50 businesses exhibiting from across the area.  Parker was one of the exhibitors, with interactive activities on the stand generating lots of interest from pupils, including the challenge to assemble a valve in the quickest time possible – with the prize of an iPad  (tbc).
One of the highlights at the Get up to Speed event was the presence of the Bloodhound SCC supercar, with its 135,000 bhp jet and rocket powered engine.  The car will challenge for the world land speed record and is set to ultimately break the 1,000mph barrier, faster than the speed of sound! Many of the parts for the car and engineering were designed and manufactured in South Yorkshire.
Get up to Speed event is organised by the work-wise foundation, which aims to inspire young people about the opportunities in engineering. 
For more information visit the website or call +44 (0) 1142 240000.

2016 Apr - Tinsley Bridge sets Westfield School an Innovation Challenge

Dave Owens and the team at Tinsley Bridge set a real life business challenge for our Year 10 Cutlers' Engineering Ambassadors based around their business objective to recruit more young people, particularly girls, into the business - and what better way than getting young people to tackle to problem they were facing.


Year 10 Ambassadors from Bradfield, Firth Park, Stocksbridge and Westfield schools all set about investigating the challenge, developing their proposals and pitching them to the senior management team at Tinsley Bridge.


After being set the task the students were all invited to Tinsley Bridge to see the business first hand and research and interview a range of employees.


They then went away, did further research and developed their proposals and presentations and pitched these at a Dragons Den type event. All the teams impressed the judges but the winning ideas came from the Westfield School Ambassadors.


Dave Owens, Tinsley Bridge said "Last year we set the challenge of how to get the name of Tinsley Bridge Group better known in the Sheffield area in order to attract business and also to attract younger employees.  The schools responded with lots of ideas of such as using social media, improving the Website, getting more involved in schools etc."

2016 Jan - Regional Engineering Employers Driving the Skills Agenda and helping youngsters Get up to Speed …..

The 6th Annual work-wise Get up to Speed with engineering and manufacturing event takes place on Wednesday 20th April 2016. The event will return for a 2nd year to The Magna Science and Adventure Centre in Rotherham following the tremendous success in 2015 when the event attracted almost 2,000 visitors.


Driven by the regions employers and supported by founding sponsors Tata Steel and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), joined this year by AESSEAL plc, Made in Sheffield and Santander Get up to Speed is a highly interactive event aimed at showcasing the manufacturing, engineering and technology sectors, its employers and employment opportunities to school children, students, parents and educators. The event aims to inspire; building confidence and knowledge in these sectors as a great place to work in a fun and interactive way.


The Made in Sheffield brand is recognised around the world and the Sheffield region is renowned internationally for its expertise in high-precision engineering, metals production, new technologies and the high-quality design and manufacturing of products for a wide range of global industries. With manufacturing firmly placed on the national agenda, local companies understand the need to help celebrate and promote the manufacturing industry not just nationally and internationally but importantly locally to ensure that there are enough talented and skilled young people entering the industry to fill the regions growing skills needs.


Group Engineering Director Stephen Shaw of new sponsor AESSEAL plc explained why they are getting involved. “ The success of AESSEAL is dependent upon its ability to innovate and bring products to market. We are proud to support the GUTS event, which rightly focuses on innovation, design, manufacturing and engineering in the local area. Get up to Speed is a great interactive event which attracts young people into STEM subjects. AESSEAL finds this event key in assisting young people when choosing their future career options and hopefully planting the seed for our future engineers.”

2016 Jan – Newburgh Precision hosts visit from Cutlers’ Made in Sheffield Ambassadors

Early in January 2016 20, 14 to 15 year old, Year 10 pupils from Bradfield School and Westfield School’s visited Newburgh Precision in Rotherham as part of The Cutlers’ Made in Sheffield Ambassador programme which provides experience of real businesses in action.


The pupils had a presentation from Managing Director, David Greenan, on the range of work that Newburgh Precision undertake for sectors such as Oil & Gas, Nuclear, Power Generation, Defence and Aerospace. They also heard about the career options available and the experience of some of the Newburgh employees in progressing through the business. The pupils also had a tour of the shop floor to see a range of machining and fabrication and a visit round the apprentice training school.



The Cutlers’ Made in Sheffield Ambassador programme is delivered by The work-wise Foundation for the engineering sector. This is a 2.5 year programme with 147 students (aged 14-16) from Bradfield, Stocksbridge, Westfield, Outwood City, Handsworth Grange  and Firth Park schools aimed at providing young people with the employability skills required by industry and focussed around careers in engineering and manufacturing  related industries, providing them with a range of opportunities to work with sector employers.


The work-wise Foundation Charity is an employer inspired and led initiative for engineering, manufacturing and related sectors to support the development of young people so they have the knowledge, skills, aptitude and opportunities for employment within the Sheffield City Region.

2015 July - Rollem hosts work experience students from Stocksbridge High School

During July, Ben Ratcliffe, 14 and Jack Turner, 15 both from Stocksbridge High School completed two weeks on work placement at Rollem as part of the Made in Sheffield Ambassadors programme.


Rollem is an international print finishing machine designer and manufacturer with 80% of its production being for export with the largest market being the USA.


Whilst at Rollem Ben and Jack's duties were primarily to design a mechanism for their print finishing machines to control the sheets on Rollaway machines whilst the cutting heads were dis-engaged.


They spent most of their time with Mark Hible, Operations Manager learning about the design process and covered concept design, 3D CAD – modelling, drafting, exploded diagrams, sourcing and buying in parts, creating Bills of Materials and general database skills.

They came up with a working design which was completed in the machine shop and using bought in parts they fully assembled and tested the mechanism on one of the machines. They did the assembly and test work with Bill Jones, who also showed them how to strip down and set up jobs on the Rollaway machines.


Mark Hible, Operations Manager said "While we were waiting for the parts I did some assembly work with them with a test project where I showed them how to set up and use a centre lathe, pedestal drill and general fabrication and fitting skills."


The Made in Sheffield Ambassadors Programme, which is run by The work-wise Foundation, is a step beyond the traditional model of one business connected to one school. It connects an employment sector, or whole series of businesses, to a group of schools. This allows a range of businesses to contribute and allows schools a wider link to business in the local community.


At the heart of Made in Sheffield is the concept of student Ambassadors aged 13-15 who are given a rich range of experiences both in school and in the workplace to develop their job-ready skills and attitudes and their sector-specific understanding. The Ambassadors promote business sectors to their peers and showcase young people’s talents and abilities. At the end of the programme, each Ambassador gains an employer-endorsed Skills Passport.

2014 Nov - Alcoa's Donation to work-wise to mark Firth Rixson deal

Alcoa has completed a £1.7bn takeover of Sheffield aerospace components company Firth Rixson - and to celebrate handed more than £40,000 to good causes including work-wise.


The US metals giant announced in June it was buying the historic Sheffield company from a US private equity house.


It has now taken on Firth Rixson’s 2,400 employees across 12 factories worldwide, including four in Sheffield.


To mark the occasion, the Alcoa Foundation announced a total of £41,000 in grants to three non-profit organisations.


Amongst them is The work-wise Foundation. The industry led Charity that prepares young people for engineering and manufacturing jobs, will receive £9,500.


work-wise grant will enable 30 young people to participate in the “Engineering Tomorrow’s Talent” program, which provides the opportunity to explore and experience future careers and employment within the Sheffield City region’s engineering and manufacturing sector. This program is designed to complement academic lessons already in place and seeks to demonstrate the relevance of a solid education for future STEM-related career opportunities.


"Ensuring that young people – who are our future workforce – have the skills and motivation for work is not only essential for economic growth but it also releases young people trapped in third generation unemployment, and the poverty and deprivation that follow," said Jackie Freeborn, from The work-wise Foundation. "We are incredibly grateful for the grant we have received that will enable 30 young people to find jobs and apprenticeships in local industries."


Grants have also been awarded to The University of Sheffield Faculty of Engineering and The Children’s Hospital Charity.


"Alcoa Foundation partners with organizations in our communities to address local needs," said Scott Hudson, Principal Manager of Social Responsibility and Community Outreach, Alcoa Foundation. "These dedicated nonprofit organizations continue to positively impact the youth in Sheffield, and we are proud to work with them to strengthen their efforts."


2014 Sept - work-wise launches Apprentice Coaching Programme

A new initiative inspired and championed by Chairman, Kevin Parkin sees the work-wise Foundation teaming up with Bev Lockwood to support local manufacturers with their succession planning, through coaching apprentices who are showing potential of becoming one of the next generation of business leaders.


Bev Lockwood of Unlocked Ltd is a leadership coach who works with senior business and next generation leaders across many sectors and industries.  Bev has provided her time on a free of charge basis to coach bright young potential next generation leaders from Chesterfield Cylinders, Sheffield Forgemasters and AESSEAL.


The pilot programme includes one to one coaching sessions and 3 workshops designed to help the apprentices develop a better understanding of who they are and the value they bring to the business, what really matters in management, and what it takes to be a great leader.  Guest speakers sharing their experience include Chris Rea, OBE, Group Managing Director of AESSEAL.  


The key outcomes of the coaching programme will be to ensure individuals know where they add the most value to a business and have the confidence to exploit these strengths.  It will also mean that the business’s obtain the best from their future leaders and can identify how to continue to support their development in leadership, succession and business sustainability.


When asked why she wanted to give her time for free, Bev said "I understand a business's key drivers… business is built on relationships and a proven track record of delivering a high quality service that adds real value - successful manufacturers work on the same premise. I can make a measurable difference to the sustainability of manufacturing in the Sheffield City Region  by unlocking the full potential of the next generation of manufacturing leaders early in their careers. I’m passionate about work-wise and ‘Made in Sheffield’ because I was!"


“The coaching that I have received from Bev has been absolutely instrumental in further developing my leadership skills and knowledge, whilst simultaneously allowing me to recognise and build upon skills I didn’t even know I had”  Gareth Winder - IT Support Team Leader - AESSEAL

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