The Manufacturing Institute

Cheshire school triumphs in enterprise challenge

1 February 2013

Cheshire teenagers showed off their talent for business this week in an exciting challenge designed to test their entrepreneurial skills.

The Siemens Make It Enterprising Challenge tasked 12 schools to establish their own mini-manufacturing businesses and design, cost, build and market solutions – based on existing Siemens products - for one of a choice of customers including an airport, theme park, hospital and factory.

After pitting their wits against eleven other schools from across Cheshire, the all-girls team from Loreto Grammar School stormed to victory, pipping joint runner-up Macclesfield schools Eaton Bank Academy and The Macclesfield Academy to the post.

The challenge tasked each team with selecting job roles ranging from operations, logistics, design and finance, as well as costing-out their ideas and developing a sales and marketing plan including coming up with a brand for their company. They were then challenged with appearing in the Dragons’ Den, where teams had to pitch their ideas to Siemens employees.

The team from Loreto impressed the Dragons with their design for a conveyor belt system to transport luggage around an airport more efficiently, powered by drives produced by Siemens.

The free event was a collaboration between The Manufacturing Institute and leading global engineering company Siemens whose facility at Congleton produces Drive technologies.

It is part of a series of themed challenges which The Manufacturing Institute is supporting through their ‘Make It’ campaign, which aims to attract the brightest and best new talent into manufacturing by promoting the sector as an exciting and rewarding career option for young people.

Stephen Melia, Make It Programme Coordinator, said: “The Make It campaign aims to showcase that manufacturing is a really exciting, challenging and creative career option for young people, with many varied career paths ranging from product design to sales and marketing. Global companies need great talent joining their business if they are to continue to be successful and we’ve found this in droves today with some fantastic leadership and teamwork displayed by the pupils involved.”

Finbarr Dowling, Managing Director at Siemens Congleton, said: “This is the third consecutive year that Siemens Congleton has worked in conjunction with The Manufacturing Institute to run a Make It event.  The feedback from the first two events was outstanding and certainly leads us to conclude that the event is instrumental in helping us to achieve our objective - to inform and inspire young people to seriously consider engineering and manufacturing as a career option. 

“The United Kingdom is experiencing resurgence in engineering and manufacturing right now and products developed and manufactured in this country are in great demand on a global level. To build on this resurgence and grow UK manufacturing in the future we will need an increasing number of talented young scientists and engineers. The idea behind Make It is simply to light that flame amongst the highly talented and enthusiastic young people in our locality.”

Both schools will now go through to Make It’s Grand Regional Final to be held in summer 2013.

Participating schools were:

All Hallows Catholic College


Brine Leas School


Congleton High School


Eaton Bank Academy


Hartford C of E High School


Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School

Holmes Chapel

Knutsford Academy


Loreto Grammar School


Malbank School & Sixth Form College


Sandbach School


The Macclesfield Academy


University of Chester Academy




















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