Nissan has opened its doors to give schoolchildren a unique insight into the world of advanced manufacturing and engineering.
The UK’s biggest car producer is staging special events at its record-breaking plant in Sunderland and at its European Technical Centre in Cranfield as part of the Government’s ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative.
This coordinated programme of events across the UK’s car industry is aimed at boosting the image of UK manufacturing and encouraging more young people to take up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “For too many young people the word manufacturing is a turn off. A worrying poll out recently 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 and Nissan’s events at Sunderland and Cranfield, we are giving young people the chance to see the exciting face of modern manufacturing which is highly skilled, high tech and highly paid.”
Over two weeks at Nissan Sunderland Plant, 2,500 11-13-year-old students are taking part in the fourth Nissan Schools’ Engineering Discovery Event, where they learn about modern car manufacturing, watch the Qashqai, Juke and Note being made on the production line, take part in educational games, and find out how engineers have supported and improved the manufacturing process at the plant over its rich 25- year history.
The event, which started on October 10, is targeted at children before they choose their GCSE subjects. It also includes a section on future production at the company’s new advanced lithium-ion battery plant, and the 100% electric Nissan LEAF.
Staff at Nissan’s European Technical Centre (NTCE) in Cranfield, Bedfordshire held a further ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ event last week, where pupils from the surrounding area came to learn about design engineering and development. The children also met recent recruits who shared their experiences about becoming engineers.
These events follow previous ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ events held in June at Nissan, when teachers and careers advisors from across the North of England visited Nissan Sunderland Plant andstudents, teachers, parents and other educational stakeholders visited NTCE.
Nissan Sunderland Plant Engineering Director Richard Ebrahim said: “Nearly everything that we use in our daily lives involves an engineer - whether it’s designing, building or testing. British engineers are behind some of the world’s most iconic inventions and Nissan is very proud of the contribution that our engineers have made to this tradition, with their innovation, excellence and a ‘can-do, will-do’ attitude.
“We want to inspire students who are considering which GCSE subjects to choose, by showing them that a career in engineering and advanced manufacturing is a diverse, exciting and rewarding choice.”