Apprenticeships

Getting young people interested in manufacturing is vital

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 16:05 GMT Jump to Comments

Getting young people involved in the use of aluminium for design is vitally important for the sustainability of this country.

Recently the Alu Pro DT challenge took place in Birmingham. The event was devised to get young people aged 11-14 years old to think creatively and innovatively about aluminium and its material properties.

The challenge provided a free and flexible D&T online teaching resource developed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) in partnership with the Aluminium Federation (ALFED) and a leading aluminium recycler, Novelis UK.

Nigel Gibbons, Managing Director of Hydro Aluminium and judge of the challenge, said he encouraged designs that showed “an awareness of the environment” along with an awareness of the recyclability of a material and the sustainability of it.

He said it was important as these young people would be the “engineers and consumers of the future”.

Professor Michael Stacey, Director of Architecture at the University of Nottingham, added that he was looking for designs that showed an understanding of the world around them, and showed that they understood the world was “malleable in their hands”.

Gibbons pointed out that this generation had a new dimension to their learning and understanding with the use of aluminium, “they are taking on a responsibility that I never had to take on when I was their age”.

He explained that, “we didn’t think about sustainability, we didn’t think about limited resources in the earth – we didn’t think about recyclability”.

This means it is vital for young people to understand how all these elements work, he added. 

"Young people will need to build this concept into their lives within their community, and in their professional lives so it becomes central to how they live in today’s society", he added.

“If they can get that appetite, that interest, when they are young they will carry it through, and that’s the purpose of the DT challenge”, he said.

Frank Power, Sales Director at Simmal Ltd, believes giving young people physical support is vital in encouraging them to flourish in design with aluminium.

He explains that design is key to innovation, “a joining together of creativity and innovation, and enthusing design, will make for a better tomorrow”.

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