Poppy Williamson intern

Encouraging the next generation of engineers

As a country – and an industry – we are becoming more and more aware of a reduction in the number of engineers coming into the workplace. At the same time, reaction to challenges such as climate change means a surge in innovative ideas that need engineers to help them become reality.

This is the case across all areas of engineering and in all sectors. It’s up to all of us to do whatever we can to show what a great career engineering can be, and to encourage young people to see how engineering works in practice, so they can consider it seriously as a career option.

This focus on resolving the long-term skills shortage we are facing means interacting with students early enough to show them opportunities they may not be aware of, so they can make informed decisions on subjects aimed at careers they will find challenging and rewarding.

Work experience placements let GCSE and A-level students see how concepts that may appear abstract in school can be useful to solve real life problems. As well as the technical problem solving, being part of the team helps develop their communication skills and confidence in unfamiliar situations.

During 2023, eight students worked with Cascade Engineering to see what life in an engineering consultancy is really like. A diverse group with a variety of pre-conceptions, they typically found that having a unique, individual task developing CAD models, analysing them and 3D printing their work, was both entertaining and enlightening – and is often relevant to our own project work, so they know they are contributing commercially as well as intellectually.

"I would like to thank Cascade Engineering for an entertaining work experience week. Designing in 3D CAD, conducting finite element analysis, and 3D printing was both challenging and rewarding. Although the office was busy, I found the team were supportive and happy to help me achieve my tasks." Poppy, engineering work experience student.

Working with experienced professionals helps to resolve problems quickly, keeping focus on the job in hand and providing them with engaged mentoring.

We have also supported undergraduate placements and recently added a Masters graduate to our ranks. In these ways we are helping the next generation of engineers to develop the skills they will need to face the challenges before them, and we look forward to continuing this commitment during 2024.

In fact, one of our A-Level work experience students James had this to say about working with us:

James Pratley intern

“I just wanted to thank you once again for organising the work experience for me last week and for all the time everyone in the team kindly gave me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work on complex tasks, use a 3D printer and visit the airfield; I learnt a lot from these. I had a really fantastic week and I am even more excited about studying aerospace engineering at university. Cascade is an amazing company full of fantastic people and I am very grateful to have had the chance to work with all of you.”

We continue to support emerging engineering talent wherever we can, making a real contribution to boosting the future workforce.

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