Michelin opens its doors in ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ apprenticeship open day
Yesterday (11 October) Michelin held an open day designed to encourage young people to learn more about manufacturing and potentially become apprentices. Michelin hosted the open day at its facility in Stoke-on-Trent as part of the government-backed “See Inside Manufacturing” scheme. Pupils and students from five Stoke-based schools and colleges visited the site in Campbell Road. A second open day is planned for Thursday 13 October.
Other events took place at the site time in automotive manufacturing centres across the country including several at sites across the West Midlands including Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin.The automotive sector is the first industry to support the nationwide project.
Sean Parry, Michelin factory manager, pointed out that perceptions of what it’s like to work in manufacturing are outdated: “People have an image of the industry that’s based on the 1970s…We now have high-tech equipment, highly skilled employees making decisions on a minute-by-minute basis based on the product and we’re upskilling people and putting in new machinery.
“…it’s not just the shop floor, there’s all the support services but the shops floor is still part of it but engineering is the biggest part of it. We take engineering apprentices because it gives us an opportunity to train them. They get the Michelin training so we know they’re qualified at the end of it.”
Michelin reportedly takes on about two apprentices a year.
To ensure manufacturers have access to the skills they need to remain at the forefront of advanced manufacturing, the Government launched See Inside Manufacturing in March. To kick-off the latest stage of the campaign, business secretary Vince Cable visited the Vauxhall plant in Luton.
Vince Cable said: “For too many young people the word manufacturing is a turn off. A worrying poll out last week found that only one out of ten children aged 11 to 14 thought that engineering was an important job and even ranked being a politician as a better choice of career!
“We are determined to shake up old fashioned views of manufacturing. Through the Government’s See Inside Manufacturing campaign we will give young people the chance to see the exciting face of modern manufacturing which is highly skilled, high tech and highly paid.”
Between 10-21 October around 100 events are being held across the UK. Companies in the sector are opening their doors to students and young people to help change the perception of careers in the sector and to attract the next generation of engineers and technicians.