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norelem gets young engineers firing on all cylinders

01 June 2018

Despite 5.7 million people working in engineering enterprises, the proportion of young people working in this industry is decreasing year-on-year. Paul Mulvey, UK Sales Director at norelem, discusses how they are supporting young talent into the sector.

A 2017 UK Engineering Report about “the state of engineering” has highlighted how our engineering talent pool is getting smaller and smaller. In fact, it is argued that there is an annual shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates.

It’s widely acknowledged that there is a growing skills gap, so it’s important to find new and innovative ways to nurture young minds so that they can become the best future engineers.

norelem enjoy supporting young talent into exciting industries. One of its biggest focuses is the Formula Student competition, which has been running across Europe since 1981.

The competition, which is operated in the UK by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), is part of the world’s largest student motorsport event run by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Its prime focus is to challenge student teams to design, build, and compete a single seat race care in one year.

norelem supports students at the University of Birmingham who are part of the UB Racing Team by providing a range of products to help them build and test the car. As a manufacturer of standard components, it’s also been supporting other teams across Europe since 2011 with products and expertise. It is incredibly important for young people to learn real life applications of the theories they learn about in class.

norelem’s THE BIG GREEN BOOK features over 38,000 standard elements, allowing the students to have the best access to products to maximise efficiency and save time during production.

To further support young engineers, norelem organise a Race Camp in Germany to give the students the ability to trial their cars on a race track before the final event in July. It grants all their sponsored teams from across Europe the opportunity to come together, share best practice, and test their vehicles whilst all celebrating their passion for engineering.

In its third year since creation, the Race Camp proves to be an incredibly fun and beneficial few days for the students. The 2018 Race Camp is taking place in Steißlingen, near Lake Constance, from 20-22 June. Driverless vehicles will also participate in this year’s race, allowing students insight into this innovative technology.

This year, the Race Camp has been opened up to 20 teams, with a total of 500 participants up from 14 teams in 2017. Students can look forward to making their own presentations, as well as creative workshops based on cost reporting. These knowledge sharing workshops are incredibly important to help students develop both technical and theoretical skills, which helps them with future employability.

Supporting the new generation of engineers is highly important. Even if these young people don’t follow up a career in automotive industry, the skills learnt at Formula Student and at Race Camp are transferable to any engineering path. 

By learning to use standard components in all aspects of car production, they’ll be more accustomed to adapting these parts to other applications, whether in automotive or otherwise. 

Whilst the skills gap is a worrying trend, norelem are confident that supporting Formula Student teams will encourage more students to get into engineering.

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