Schaeffler has held two open days at its plant in Llanelli, South Wales, during which 53 Year 10 and Year 11 (14-16 year olds) pupils from ten local schools were given the chance to find out what it is like to work in a high-volume, fast-paced automotive manufacturing environment.

The open days are part of the UK Government’s See Inside Manufacturing Initiative (SIM), a nationwide programme developed in order 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. The Initiative is supported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with major UK-based automotive vehicle manufacturers taking part in the open days, including Aston Martin, BMW, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK and Vauxhall.

Following the success of a one-day event held at the Schaeffler UK plant in November 2011, this year’s event was extended to two full days in order to give pupils more time to see the factory, ask questions, discuss their career plans and to take part in an engineering challenge and team building exercise.

Alex Robinson, automotive components section manager at The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) commented: “Around 43% of those who graduated in 2009 did so with a degree in a STEM subject – but just one in twenty of them went to work in manufacturing. See Inside Manufacturing is part of both redressing manufacturing’s image and the reluctance of young people with STEM qualifications to work there. We would like more Tier One and Two automotive suppliers like Schaeffler UK to support the SIM initiative. Schaeffler UK has now held two very successful open days at its Llanelli plant and we thank them for their continued support.”