To help combat the ongoing skills shortage we face across the construction industry, MGF’s Engineering department have turned their attention to this year’s high school leavers. As part of their new ‘Grass Routes programme’, Engineering Manager, Lee Womersley and Chief Engineer, Stephen Barker, have spent the last 12-18 months building a strong rapport with local schools close to their central engineering centre at Foundation House, Greater Manchester.
Envisioning the future of the company and providing an excellent opportunity for young people in the local community, during National Careers week 2022, we opened our doors to twelve potential MGF stars.
Fred Longworth High School, located in Tyldesley, Greater Manchester, sent a group of its year 10-11 students who had demonstrated a keen interest in Civil Engineering as a potential career choice, following previous visits to the school by MGF. The classmates were taken around to experience the various departments at Head Office in Ashton-in-Makerfield and at Foundation House in Astley, the engineering heartbeat of the business.
After a short presentation delivered by Lee and Stephen, the students were split into two alternating groups, where they enjoyed a tour of the yard, manufacturing facilities, and offices to gain a better awareness into all the different professions working across MGF.
They were then taken to Foundation House where they enjoyed Domino’s Pizza before our engineering team guided the students through their next challenge: the construction of a model bridge.
Over the course of the afternoon, the teams managed to collaborate their engineering minds and complete the structural model within an impressive time scale, using practical teamwork and initiative. The day itself was a fantastic success and we believe the event has unearthed some potential apprentices in engineering as well as opening the door to a handful of the next generation.
MGF’s next step is to invite the interested students to apply for a Grass Routes Civil Engineering Apprenticeship this summer. The offer consists of a fully funded eight-year degree apprenticeship programme at a top Northwest based University, giving the individual the opportunity to obtain world class academic and professional engineering qualifications, whilst gaining crucial industry experience.
“The apprenticeship programme is a much more sustainable route of qualifying as a Civil Engineer. I am a great believer that working and learning in parallel enhances your understanding of engineering and provides you with the best opportunity to succeed.
We believe MGF, as a market leader, have a responsibility to ensure the next generation of engineers and technicians are ready to meet the demands of the construction industry. So why not bring them into the industry post high school, as well as the traditional route of postgraduate.
Our programme has been given the full backing by MGF’s board and owners, so we plan on making this an annual event.”Lee Womersley, Engineering Manager