Coachlines - March 2024

29.03.24 Assistant Eric Wallbank

Inspiring young minds at the London Careers Festival 2024

The Coachmakers recently took part in the annual Livery Careers Fair, which gives Livery Companies the opportunity to connect with students from schools in the Greater London area to inform, engage and enthuse them about careers in our core trades and industries.

The event is a key part of the London Careers Festival, an annual week-long festival focused on linking learners to professionals, employers and apprenticeship providers across a range of jobs and sectors. Schools across London are invited to participate with a choice of events and workshops across the week.

This year’s Careers Fair took place at the Guildhall on 26th February for junior schools and 27th February for older students. The Company had an engaging and interesting stand in the magnificent surroundings of the Great Hall.

A major attraction to the stand, as last year, was the 3D printer, acquired last year courtesy of Freeman Mike Malone and Master Bettine Evans. In addition, we provided different activities for the two age groups, with a Lego Technic car for the younger age group, while the older students got hands-on and practical in the Great Plug Race. We have run this before: it brings out the competitive element in young people, and quickly sorts out those who have a natural aptitude for practical matters from those who don’t (yet) know one end of a screwdriver from the other.

In a new paperless world, we had business cards on the stand with the QR codes to download the Engineering and Automotive Engineering Careers Guide for interested students and teachers.

The level of interest and engagement from the young people in attendance was very encouraging. Taking part is hugely rewarding in engaging with bright young people who just might, with our help, become future leaders in our industries. We still have a skills gap in engineers in the UK – we weren’t training enough engineers when I studied, many years ago, and we still aren’t. Engineering UK puts the shortfall at tens of thousands of engineers and technicians every year. The more of these events we can take part in, the more chance we have of triggering young people to make choices that will help fill that gap.