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Burslem schools benefit from the Prince’s Charities Industrial Cadets programme

  • Social Inclusion

In May 2010 HRH The Prince of Wales visited the Teesside area and expressed the hope that companies in the manufacturing industry would engage more with young people to raise awareness of industry and job opportunities. Following discussions between His Royal Highness and Jon Bolton of Tata Steel, the Industrial Cadets programme was born.

Following a successful launch by The Prince’s Charities and Tata Steel in October 2011, twenty four 13 and 14 year olds from 5 local schools embarked on an 8 week programme and graduated as Industrial Cadets in 2011. The Prince of Wales visited Tata Steel to see the project and as a result agreed to help champion the expansion of the programme as part of The Prince’s Charities Place Strategy.

In January 2013, 5 companies from Stoke-on-Trent took on 25 students aged between 13 and 14 years, from 2 schools and delivered 2 Industrial Cadets programmes. The Co-operative Academy and Haywood Engineering College, both local schools to the Middleport and Burslem areas, embraced the concept of Industrial Cadets from the outset. The companies – Michelin, Dudson, Novus (previously Seddon), Keele University and McCamley Uk Ltd who have long term interests in improving the quality of life for local people delivered various components of the programme, provided an unprecedented opportunity for the students to see behind the doors of 5 very different companies and encouraged the young people to make choices about their future careers.

At a graduation ceremony held in March 2013 at Port Vale Football Club, Ian Dudson, CBE, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Staffordshire congratulated the students on their achievements, presented certificates and expressed heartfelt gratitude to the companies for their immense support. The Prince’s Charities Place team and Business Connector are supporting the 2013 cohort with their career decisions and working closely with the schools and business partners who have expressed an interest in repeating their involvement in Industrial Cadets during the next academic year.

Michelin, Dudson and Novus delivered the manufacturing elements including factory tours, enabling students to see at first hand the manufacturing processes required to manufacture world class products.

Dudson took students through the skills required in the fields of design and getting products to the market while Michelin highlighted the impact that logistics has on consumers lives with exercises on geography and routing deliveries. The need for finance in all aspects of a business and the importance of hiring the right people to the right job was highlighted by Novus. Keele University and McCamley Uk Ltd, injected the sustainability and innovation aspects of the programme.

Steelite International’s programme ‘Art on a Plate’ exposed students to the world of hospitality ceramics. Through a factory tour and sessions on manufacturing, design and marketing, students had an in depth induction to the company and its wares. A trip to meet a local chef and restaurateur explored the type, style and colour of ceramic ware for the presentation of particular dishes. In addition, staff were also recruited as mentors to work alongside of the students. The culmination of the programme was the design of a mosaic by the students, that will be made and displayed on an exterior wall of Steelite.