At the event, held from April 4th to 8th 2022, at the NEC, Birmingham, students had the opportunity to see the innovative developments in disciplines such as additive manufacturing, machining and metrology, and learn about the pathways into different manufacturing sectors, such as automotive, aerospace and medical.
During the week, MACH hosted 2,500 secondary school students aged 11 to 16. The guided tours, led by apprentices and graduates working in the industry, included visits to the stands of leading manufacturing companies, as well as participating in activities in the exhibition's dedicated Education and Development zone. These included additive manufacturing activities led by Create Education, virtual welding, seeing the Mars Rover and discovering more about the F1 in Schools competition.
"Apprentices and graduate engineers are the ideal candidates to lead the tours because they are only a few years ahead of the students, meaning they can strongly relate to them," explained Joshua Dugdale, Head of Technology & Skills at the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), organisers of MACH. "The tour guides gave first-hand insight into the career opportunities available to students to inspire the next generation of engineers."
"I wanted to take part in the tours and speak to students about engineering careers as I have previously been one of those students and was inspired into my role by a similar conversation," explained Charlie Hix, Engineering Apprentice at Renishaw. "I saw this as a great opportunity to give students an insight into the industry and apprenticeships as a whole."
"It was great to see so many girls on the tours being interested and enthusiastic about engineering," explained Harry Elliott, Technical Apprentice at Renishaw. "In particular, the school groups showed a lot of interest in additive manufacturing processes. The education zone was positioned alongside school and university stands, which inspired children to study engineering at university and get involved in innovative and exciting projects through their education."