Work experience in summer 2019

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At OAL, you can usually find a school or university student somewhere around the business experiencing what it’s like to work for an SME engineering company. Whether it’s school visits to the NCFM to see our equipment in action or work experience students getting a taste for the working world, we love welcoming the next generation into our business and demonstrating the different areas of engineering that are on offer. The UN has highlighted that 16 per cent of the global population is made up of young people aged 15 to 24 years and that they’re almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults so it’s vital that employers help them into the world of work. What’s more, Engineering UK predicted an annual shortfall of 59,000 engineering graduates and technicians for core engineering roles in the UK over the next ten years, so we take our responsibility to encourage more students into the world of engineering very seriously! In support of World Youth Skills Day (a UN initiative) on 15 July 2019, we thought we’d hear from two school students who have spent time with us.

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Why did we choose OAL?

Hadi Mohammadi: “I am currently studying maths, chemistry and history at A level, which means there are a wide variety of careers that I can pursue. Engineering is an industry that’s always in demand so there are lots of opportunities for anyone interested in STEM-based careers. I came to OAL for my work experience as the larger companies seemed to be less personal in their approach to tackling work experience placements. As I will be soon be applying for university, working with different departments at OAL has given me a wide range of knowledge including which branch of engineering I want to follow!”

Eve Osborne: “Originally, I had considered engineering as a career as I am currently studying for my GCSEs and am particularly interested in maths and science. However, I also enjoy art and being creative, which I have discovered can be important in certain types of engineering. I wanted to come to OAL for my work experience because of my interest in engineering but had not yet decided which branch would be best for me. OAL was great because the team allowed me to spend time with all the different departments within the company. This not only gave me an insight into what every day jobs of engineers are like but also about all the different departments that are necessary to run a successful business.”

What did we do?

“Throughout our time at OAL, we got to experience many different aspects of the business. We were able to spend some time at the NCFM (National Centre for Food Manufacturing) to see the Steam Infusion system demonstration and the APRIL Robot Chef in action, which was an amazing experience. In addition to this we spent some time with the APRIL Robotics team where we were able to control the robot to complete certain engaging tasks.

In the workshop we were shown how to wire panels and even spent some time wiring them ourselves. The design team showed us how they used CAD (Computer Aided Design) and allowed us to try to complete some technical drawings as well as showing us the simulations that they programmed. This gave us many new and important skills which will be helpful in our futures as engineers.

Over parts of our week with OAL we spent some time with the administration team where we were able to complete helpful tasks and shown how important every aspect of the company is.”

Would we recommend it?

“Overall, we found work experience at OAL to be extremely beneficial in every aspect as all the staff were willing to give their time and answer all our questions enthusiastically. As students, we found our time with OAL was not only really helpful in deciding our futures but also a motivating and exciting experience and would definitely recommend work experience at OAL to other students interested in any aspect of engineering.”

So if you think a career in engineering could be right for you but you want to test it out first, do get in touch. You could even begin your career at OAL!

Lauren Moir