ONE of Yorkshire’s fastest growing manufacturers is helping to bridge the skills gap by encouraging 1,500 young people to consider a career in industry.
Lambert, a provider of high-value automation systems, equipment engineering and precision components, has thrown open the doors of its Tadcaster factory to allow pupils to gain an insight into life in a modern manufacturing company.
Primary and secondary school pupils and college and university students have been given a taste of bionics, augmented reality and robotics.
The ‘Future of Engineering’ event, which was backed by partners Balluff, Bosch, Cognex, EEF, Festo, Medasil, MPM Composites, Rockwell Automation and Siemens, was held as part of the inaugural Leeds Manufacturing Festival.
Visitors were also able to experience augmented reality and witness a display of robotic football.
Warren Limbert, the managing director of Lambert, added: “Consumer confidence in capital investment across food and beverage, confectionary, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and medical is buoyant and that is good news for our business with a five-year plan in place to achieve double digit growth year-on-year.”
He continued: “However, to deliver the high-quality production equipment we are renowned for, we need to continue to attract the best talent and develop our own engineers and application specialists.
“The ‘Future of Engineering’ event is a fantastic way of achieving this by showcasing the Lambert brand in line with the wide array of amazing technologies that will drive manufacturing forward in the future.
“We currently employ eight apprentices and will be looking to recruit a further four over the next twelve months.”
Employing 170 people across its Station Estate facility, Lambert is one of Tadcaster’s largest employers and a long-term supporter of initiatives to build links between industry and academia. It works with more than a dozen educational establishments, including Read School, Selby High, Sherburn High, Riverside, Tadcaster Grammar, Selby College, York College, Leeds University and Sheffield University.
Lambert has arranged work experience placements, factory tours and open days.
Lambert’s Madeleine Lee played a significant role in organising the ‘Future of Engineering’ Event.
She added: “We recognise the importance of inspiring young people to consider a future in manufacturing and the best way to do this is to give them a first-hand insight into the sector today and challenge the misconception that it is a dirty industry.
“There’s a whole host of career opportunities linked to state-of-the-art technologies, such as virtual reality and 3D printing.
“The event was completely hands-on and attracted pupils as young as seven and those currently studying their degrees.
“They all had the chance to tour our factory, look at some of the machines we build and ask questions about careers and what they could do in the future.”
She added: “We also held a ‘talking corner’ where visitors were encouraged to ask apprentices and staff about life working at Lambert. On hand were electrical engineering manager Roy Jewitt, a former Lambert apprentice with 34 years’ continuous service and Nick Green, who started as an apprentice 22 years ago and is now our production director.”
Lambert joined forces with the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to highlight the wide range of careers avaiable in manufacturing.
The Leeds Manufacturing Festival is organised by the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance.
Leeds is the third largest manufacturing centre in the country by local authority area.
There are around 1,800 SME (small-and-medium-sized enterprise) manufacturers based in and around Leeds, with many serving global markets.