Learning about manufacturing is fun! That’s why we’ve designed our Make It Challenges to get kids up from their school desks, tackling new challenges, learning new skills and sometimes just enjoying being the boss.

Our Make It challenges range from making an unmanned rescue vehicle to designing and building a scale model of a nuclear power station.  Year 9 students aged 13-14 form their own mini-manufacturing company with a managing director, finance director sales and marketing manager, manufacturing manager, design engineer, logistics manager and quality controller. Just like in real life.

And when the teams have completed their working model they  pitch it to a Dragon’s Den line-up of manufacturing leaders and a get the chance to be crowned the winning team and go through to our annual Grand Final.

The Manufacturing Institute’s Make It campaign aims to attract the brightest and best new talent into manufacturing by demonstrating that the sector is an exciting and rewarding career path for young people. Our hands-on, practical events and enterprise challenges work with multi-national companies and schools to deliver engaging, thought provoking and, above all, enjoyable projects.

And we’re very proud to say that young people whose first spark of interest in manufacturing came when they were working with their school friends against the clock to complete a Make It challenge are now working in the sector.

Since 2006, over 60,000 pupils and teachers have been inspired by the campaign!


Could manufacturing be the career for you?

Making stuff has never been more interesting or cool. Just look at the fuss surrounding every Apple launch or how 3-D printing is transforming how we think about making things. The manufacturing industry has lots of choices and you could be part of an exciting future where today’s dreams and ideas are being developed into the products of the future.

Manufacturing is challenging, enjoyable and rewarding and you can start your career regardless of your qualifications. It needs designers, engineers, researchers, inventors….in fact there’s something to suit just about everyone. So why not meet the people working in the sector by taking part in one of our Make It Challenges and find out more about the jobs shaping tomorrow’s world today and how you can aim towards a career in manufacturing.


Ever wondered what the people working in manufacturing actually do during the day? It’s not all about working on a production line – the sector has a variety of roles and opportunities. From aircraft fitters to HR Managers, find out what a typical day looks like.

Find out more


Take a look at our famous Young Fab Academy where you’ll learn everything about the very latest digital technology and develop a range of important enterprising and employability skills including teamwork, leadership, problem solving, and use of initiative.

Find out more


Walk into any one of our Fab Labs on a Friday or Saturday and you can use any of our digital fabrication equipment for free! Make anything from a case for your smartphone, decals for your school bag, or even speakers or a guitar! If you’ve got the idea, you can make it.

Find out more


The world of manufacturing is on the lookout for talent.

As the sector grows and changes it will need bright brains at every level to keep manufacturing at the forefront of the UK economy. Ask any teenager what they think of manufacturing today and they will conjure up images of production lines, dirty overalls, noisy factories and repetitive work. There’s a huge disconnect between those images and the reality of working in the manufacturing sector.

Modern manufacturing is now a global enterprise competing on innovation, creativity and all-round smart thinking. The Manufacturing Institute’s Make It campaign aims to attract the brightest and best new talent into manufacturing by changing these negative perceptions and showcasing the sector as an exciting and rewarding career path for young people. Through hands-on, practical events and enterprise challenges working with multi-national companies, Make It connects young people to local manufacturers.

Since 2006, over 60,000 pupils and teachers have been inspired by the campaign. Would you like us to organise a Make It Challenge for your school?

Register your interest

Fields marked with a * are required.


The Make It campaign, dreamed up and delivered by The Manufacturing Institute, has worked with over 60,000 young people since our first Make It challenge in 2006.

In the last eight years we have worked with over 40 manufacturing business partners and thousands of industry advocates who are keen to lend their support to a campaign that offers a range of bespoke activities designed to promote businesses within their local communities and to engage with tomorrow’s talent in a fun and innovative way. Our objective is to create a pipeline of talent for the UK’s manufacturing and engineering sectors through a range of hands-on, creative and engaging events and resources for both students and teachers.

Each schools Make It project is delivered in partnership with a manufacturing/engineering company and the programme has attracted support from a wide range of household names including Rolls-Royce Ltd, Siemens, BAE Systems, Premier Foods and many other large, medium and small enterprises. This is a fantastic opportunity for your company to be aligned with a great positive project which celebrates manufacturing with the people who will be running it in the future – our youngsters.

If you would like to know more about how to get involved, or come and see how a Make It Challenge day works get in touch.

Register your interest

Fields marked with a * are required.


Make It with BAE Systems

FREE Schools Enterprise Challenge Event

10th February 2015

Students will learn what its like to work for a global Manufacturing company! 

Students from 14 schools across Lancashire will compete in the BAE Systems Make It Enterprising Challenge, a collaboration between The Manufacturing Institute and BAE Systems, a global company engaged in the development, delivery and support of advanced defence and aerospace systems in the air, on land and at sea.

Price: Free Event


A Royal day to remember

by Dr Julie Madigan MBE, Manufacturing Institute CEO

I arrived at the Palace sweeping past the crowds of tourists dressed in a big hat and feeling like an imposter! I half expected security to turn us away –( had a moment there translating my Irish maiden & work name across to my Italian married name!)- but after showing a pile of fully cross-referenced documents- they let us in. Phew!

Husband had announced …

Find out more

West Cumbria Teenagers in Dragon’s Den Nuclear Challenge

Budding young manufacturers from West Cumbria competed against each other in a recent Make It Enterprising Challenge.

The challenge – a collaboration between The Manufacturing Institute and Nuclear Management Partners – was designed to test their team working, creativity and enterprising skills and tasked the students to design and build a 3D model of a new Nuclear Power Station.

Find out more