- Students to be given a tour of the McLaren Technology Centre and meet engineers from across the McLaren Group
- The McLaren Manufacturing Challenge is now in its third year
- Competition held as part of government’s See Inside Manufacturing campaign, and timed to coincide with Tomorrow’s Engineers Week
The McLaren Group will welcome students to the McLaren Technology Centre to compete in the 2013 McLaren Manufacturing Challenge grand final this Friday.
Twelve teams of students from schools in London and Surrey will take part in the Challenge, which aims to get 13-16 year olds enthused about engineering and manufacturing by challenging them to design and build the quickest motor-less vehicle.
As part of the grand final, students will also given a behind-the-scenes glimpse into life as a McLaren engineer with exclusive tours of the McLaren Technology Centre and McLaren Production Centre – where McLaren’s Formula 1 cars and range of high-performance road cars are made.
Engineers from across the Group, including McLaren Racing’s Design Engineer, Bernadette Collins, and McLaren Applied Technologies’ Head of Modelling and Simulation Systems, Caroline Hargrove, will be on hand to explain what motivated them to consider a career in engineering and the many exciting roles available within the field.
The McLaren Manufacturing Challenge forms part of the Government’s See Inside Manufacturing campaign which aims to encourage young people to view engineering as a rewarding and viable career choice, while also increasing awareness of the importance of a strong manufacturing base to the future UK economy. It is the third year that the McLaren Group, as a founding partner of the campaign, has run the Challenge and the first time that the competition has opened up to schools outside of Surrey.
Friday’s event has been timed to coincide with Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, which runs from 4 to 8 November. The initiative, which is led by BIS, in partnership with EngineeringUK and the Royal Academy of Engineering, aims to demonstrate the relevance of engineering to young people’s everyday lives, and encourage them to feel enthused about working in the sector.
The grand final comes just weeks after the McLaren Manufacturing Challenge London showcase, where three schools unveiled their innovative designs at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The event was presided over by Business Secretary, Vince Cable, and McLaren Automotive’s Operations Director, Alan Foster.
Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren Group, said, “We are consistently impressed by the flair and enthusiasm with which the students involved in the McLaren Manufacturing Challenge approach the competition. Over the past three years, we have seen some ingenious designs that are a true testament to the talents of these young people, and I am sure that Friday’s event will be no exception.
“The UK has a proud heritage in engineering and manufacturing, but in the past two decades we have seen a worrying decline in our industrial base. This is, in part, due to a perception amongst young people that manufacturing is boring, uninspiring and dirty.
“McLaren is committed to working with government to address this misconception, and demonstrate the exciting face of modern manufacturing which is high-tech, highly skilled and well paid.
“Initiatives like the McLaren Manufacturing Challenge, the wider See Inside Manufacturing campaign, and Tomorrow’s Engineers Week are inspiring the next generation of designers and engineers to work in this field, which will in turn support future growth.”
Dr Vince Cable, Business Secretary, said, “I very much enjoyed seeing some of the pupils and their cars in action when the McLaren Manufacturing Challenge came to London last month. I am sure these finals will showcase the kind of innovative talents that will help shape the next generation of engineers.
“Stimulating analytical thought and generating enthusiasm for technology is what is needed to challenge outdated perceptions about manufacturing. It is encouraging to see leading companies like McLaren supporting this challenge.
“We have launched Tomorrow’s Engineers Week along, with over 70 partners, to illustrate the range of careers available as an engineer.”
Philip Greenish, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, commented, “Despite the major contribution of engineering to our lives and economic prosperity, there is still a general lack of awareness of engineering and the exciting careers that the industry has to offer, particularly among young people.
“We are faced with an engineering skills gap and it is critical that this is addressed. The events taking place across Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, and the ongoing programmes and resources that Tomorrow’s Engineers offers, will play a significant role in stimulating interest in the sector.
“We applaud the efforts of organisations like McLaren, which is also a committed partner of the Academy-led Engineering for Growth campaign, in reaching out to young people and showing them first-hand the fun and enjoyment to be had in engineering jobs.”