The Manufacturing Institute

Young manufacturers come to the rescue

1 May 2013

Budding young manufacturers from Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Staffordshire came to the rescue of victims of natural disasters, war zones and other troubles, when they competed in the BAE Systems Make it Enterprising Challenge yesterday (Tuesday 30 April 2013).

The event challenged 13 and 14 year olds from 11 schools to set up their own mini-manufacturing businesses and design, cost, build and market a prototype Unmanned Support Vehicle (USV) to respond to emergencies ranging from earthquakes and floods to police and fire department incidents.

The event was a collaboration between The Manufacturing Institute and BAE Systems at Radway Green. 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.

On the day, teams built prototypes and completed a series of tasks, each taking on job roles from managing director to operations managers through to finance, sales and marketing managers.

Teams were also tasked with developing a brand for their company before pitching their ideas in a Dragons’ Den-style presentation to BAE Systems managers.

Cheadle Hulme School was awarded the coveted winners trophy on the day, impressing the Dragons with their mine clearance vehicle “The Sleek Saviour”, which includes a thermal imaging camera and in-built GPS.

Meanwhile, the team from Maryhill High School wowed the judges with their idea for the design and production of a camouflaged multi-terrain vehicle with built-in CCTV and gas detector.

Stephen Melia, Make It Events Coordinator, said: “The Make It campaign is designed to show the exciting, creative and varied careers that are on offer within manufacturing. Developing the next generation of talent is essential for manufacturing companies to remain successful and this event allowed young people to learn first-hand just what it’s like to work for a global business like BAE Systems.”

Paul Johnson, HR Director, BAE Systems UK Munitions added: “BAE Systems was pleased to sponsor this event. As the UK’s largest manufacturing company, it is vital that we continue to raise awareness of the importance of manufacturing and the career prospects it can offer, especially amongst young people who are starting to consider their career choices.”

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

Participating schools were:

Cheadle Hulme School


Eaton Bank Academy


Manchester Academy


Maryhill High School


Newall Green High School


St Thomas More Catholic School


Winsford E-Act Academy



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