In September 2011, Tata Steel in Europe launched a pilot programme called Industrial Cadets, to introduce young people (14 -16 years) to the workplace and forge closer links between the education sector, local schools and businesses, and the community.
Twenty five students from five local schools in Teesside were selected and taken through an eight-week training programme. Jon Bolton, hub director, Tata Steel in Europe, talks to tata.com about the programme.
Could you tell us about the Industrial Cadets programme? What are the
company’s objectives in holding this programme?
The scheme was launched following discussions with the Prince of Wales, when he visited the Teesside site for his charity, Business in the Community. The prince was keen that the company should work with young people and inform them about the range of jobs available in the manufacturing and engineering sector. The prince supported this through his charity and is now eager to roll the programme out in partnership with other businesses in the UK.
A specially-equipped classroom was developed at Teesside for the scheme. A similar room is now being developed in Scunthorpe.
Could you tell us about the partnership between Tata Steel and the
local schools, and how the students were selected for the programme?
Pupils were invited to apply for the scheme following promotion of the programme within the schools. Shortlisted candidates were then interviewed. The selection process is regarded as an important part of the programme by the schools because for many pupils, this is their first experience of such a process and it provides them with valuable experience.
What were they taught? Did the coursework tie-in with their school
Could you tell us about the success you have achieved in getting young
people to understand about business and manufacturing?
How have the students and parents reacted to the programme?
“I’d like to thank you for the great opportunity my son has experienced. He loved every minute of it and had a great time,” a parent.
“Our pupils have gained confidence in meeting new people as well as an insight into the steel industry and how a business works,” Sarah Connor, careers coordinator, Bydales School.
How were Tata Steel employees involved in the programme?
The employees indicated they had enjoyed the experience and were pleased to be able to make a valuable contribution to the development of young people.
There are plans to take this programme across Tata Steel in Europe.
Could you share with us the plans?