Twelve pupils from Queensbury School in Erdington recently gained a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it is like to be an engineer in today’s high-tech manufacturing sector with a visit to GKN Driveline Birmingham.
The pupils toured the site, experiencing how GKN Driveline produces leading driveline technology, including side shafts and propshafts, which feature in vehicles such as the Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Queensbury School is a special educational school whose students have moderate to severe learning difficulties. The school undertakes both work placements and workplace visits to give students an insight into employment and to help them transition into life after education.
During the day they talked to senior managers about the company as well as meeting a number of apprentices and engineers to gain an insight into engineering and the wider world of work. They also undertook an exercise in ‘Lean’ production processes, which is designed to improved efficiency and remove waste from the manufacturing processes.
Neil Geldard-Williams, GKN Driveline Birmingham Plant Director, explained: “This event represents part of our work to change the perception of manufacturing and to give Queensbury School’s pupils an insight into the work environment. Anybody coming into our facility is impressed by how clean and modern it is, and the massive emphasis we place on safety. UK manufacturers must work with schools, the Government and our industry partners to ensure young people have an accurate perception of today’s manufacturing environment.”
Veronika Jenkins, Head teacher at Queensbury School added: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for Queensbury students to experience the real world of work. We really appreciate the support GKN staff gave to the students through their visit – a great day for everyone.”
This visit is the latest to be organised by GKN Driveline’s Erdington site as part of the ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ programme. SIM is giving children around the country a valuable opportunity to experience today’s manufacturing environment.
GKN Driveline Birmingham employs approximately 780 people and produces over 3 million sideshafts and 1 million propshafts per year.