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Students at the Black Country UTC were given the chance to present their business ideas to a panel of manufacturing bosses last week. The regional heat was organised by Made in the Midlands, an industry trade organisation that promotes and champions manufacturing in the Midlands.
The event, which is part of the Young Inventor project, aims to improve the perception of industry to young people and give students valuable feedback from industry experts.
Jason Pitt, CEO, Made in the Midlands said: "Members are telling us that they are experiencing recruitment challenges, this lack of skills is a threat to the competitiveness of UK industry.""We have launched the Young Inventor project as a way of addressing this problem, by getting companies more engaged with local colleges and giving students some experience at presenting, and interacting with future employers."
Chris Greenough, Vice President of Made in the Midlands and Managing Director of Salop Design and Engineering Ltd said: "I was impressed with how well the students presented their projects and hope they gained something positive from the day. The panel gave up their afternoon to visit students at the Black Country UTC, this demonstrates how important the skills issue is to members."
The winner of the Black Country UTC regional heat will meet other winners from participating colleges to battle it out at the Made in the Midlands awards event, which takes place at the Wolverhampton Science Park on the 16th October.
Jason Pitt, said: "The amount of effort that had gone into the presentations and the confidence with which students presented their projects was inspiring. Today should give employers reassurance that the next generation is well equipped for the workplace.""It is vital that companies have a direct line of communication to the education sector and students. If the next generation is not engaged then the economy will suffer. It is up to everyone to take part and put something back."
Black Country UTC was the first college to take part in Young Inventor project back in 2011 and has been a part of it ever since. Made in the Midlands is now speaking to colleges throughout the Midlands to replicate the model to give more students even greater recognition and feedback.
Colleges interested in taking part in next year's event or companies wishing to participate in the Made in the Midlands education programme should contact Charles Addison on 01902 255030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details please visit www.madeinthemidlands.com