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The future of manufacturing

The future of manufacturing

The future of manufacturing is in safe hands – Business starlets crowned by Tata Chemicals Europe.

  • Penwortham Girls’ School crowned winners of the Marketing Institute’s Make it in Manufacturing competition
  • The two outstanding individual awards were also presented to girls
  • Winners presented with trophies at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium
  • Competition marks the culmination of a number of regional heats

The competition is designed to encourage the brightest young business brains from schools across the North West, and open their eyes to the career opportunities that the manufacturing industry presents. Tata Chemicals Europe, the Cheshire-based speciality chemicals manufacturer, was a headline sponsor for the event, held at Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium.

Groups of students – winners of their respective regional heats – were given the task of creating an aeroplane manufacturing company, including design, procurement, marketing, etc, before presenting a full business plan to a Dragon’s Den-style judging panel at the end of the event.

Tata Chemicals Europe’s Communications Manager, Richard Redman (above), was one of the ‘Dragons’. He said: “Make it in Manufacturing is a great event that opens students’ eyes to the manufacturing industry. Hopefully they have learned skills that will help to open doors, too. There were many impressive performances from a number of teams and individuals on the day. If Friday’s final was anything to go by, the future of manufacturing is in safe hands.”

The competition’s coordinator, Andrew Bernard, said: “The team were really put through the mill with the challenge to design and develop a new Aerospace brand for a defined customer. Our partners in manufacturing were astonished with the quality of the design ideas, models and presentations.”

“The future of manufacturing is female”

Andrew also commented on the eventual victors: “Penwortham Girls’ School (from Preston) had fewer team members than the rest, but this didn’t dampen their enthusiasm or creativity and they wow-ed the Dragons with their fantastic ideas. Two girls were also awarded Outstanding Individual awards so it seems that the future of leadership in manufacturing is female!”

The Outstanding Individual awards went to Sarra Malik from Oulder Hill School in Rochdale, and Kimberley Cota from Blue Coat School in Liverpool, while the overall team runners-up trophy went to Hartford High School in Northwich.

Richard added: “Sarra impressed us from the start. She had a very measured leadership style, making sure that everyone in her team was using their time wisely. She had the right attitude and plenty of enthusiasm – I’m sure she will choose a career path that suits her personality and skills. But there was more than just two outstanding individuals – it was a difficult choice in the end. Hopefully many of these students will pursue, and succeed in, a career in manufacturing.”

The feedback from people involved in the event was also positive. At the beginning of the event, the number of students who said they would consider a career in manufacturing was 72%, increasing to 80% by the end of the day, while 100% of the students rated the event either ‘excellent’ and ‘good’.

Andrew concluded: “The Make It Grand Final is the culmination of 12 months of Make It Enterprising Challenges across the North West. Finalists from North Wales, Cheshire, Manchester, Lancashire and East and west Cheshire came together for a deeper challenge to test their teamwork and enterprise skills in the beautiful Evolution Suite at Old Trafford Football Ground.”


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