Schaeffler has held an open day event at its automotive engine component manufacturing plant in Llanelli, South Wales, in which more than 60 pupils from local secondary schools took part.

The event was part of the UK Government’s See Inside Manufacturing Initiative, a nationwide ‘open days’ programme to help improve the image of UK manufacturing to young people, with the objective of attracting the brightest and best talent into a career in manufacturing and engineering.

On arriving at the plant, pupils and teachers were welcomed by presentations from plant director Roger Evans MBE, and from Schaeffler UK’s training manager, Donna Williams-Bevan. They were then given a guided tour of the factory, then split into teams in order to compete in an Engineering Challenge in which the pupils had to correctly read an engineering drawing before devising a suitable method for assembling an idler hub bearing. The winner was the team that correctly assembled their idler hub in the fastest time.

Also present at the event were Alex Robinson, automotive components section manager at The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), and Paul Bullock, Industry liaison manager at the Welsh Automotive Forum.

Robinson said: “It is especially pleasing to see the automotive sector taking a lead on this activity in 2011, with government keen to extend the initiative across other manufacturing sectors in 2012. Schaeffler’s event will hopefully serve as a tool to spark off an interest amongst local school children in engineering and dispel the outdated attitudes towards a career in the profession.”