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ManufacturingSME manufacturers tap into tech talent with Made Smarter

SME manufacturers tap into tech talent with Made Smarter

An SME manufacturer, supported by Made Smarter, is tapping into digital talent to help put technology at the heart of their growth plans.

With many internships and placements being delayed or cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak1, Made Smarter – a national movement helping SME manufacturers in the North West to adopt digital technologies – is bucking the trend by offering undergraduates, master’s and PhD students, and graduates from UK universities a golden opportunity to gain valuable hands-on practical experience, a taste of a potential career path, and a foot in the door of a forward-thinking company or industry.

Fabricon Design, an Ashton-Under-Lyne-based business which uses advanced manufacturing methods to produce innovative plastics, aluminium and steel component designs, was matched to Luke Hickson, a master’s postgraduate studying Industrial Digitalisation at Manchester Metropolitan University.

After impressing on projects using CAD design and 3D printing, he secured a permanent job as design and development engineer.

Mark Bushdyhan, managing director of Fabricon Design, said: “Luke is an incredibly fast learner, who takes direction well and can act on his own initiative. His suggestions have proven invaluable and we are incredibly thankful for all his help as part of the Fabricon team. He is a great addition to our business.”

Luke Hickson, a master’s postgraduate studying Industrial Digitalisation at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), secured a job as design and development engineer following a successful internship at Fabricon Design, an Ashton-Under-Lyne-based business which uses advanced manufacturing methods to produce innovative plastics, aluminium and steel component designs.

Luke, 22, said: “Ever since I was young, I’ve had ambitions to become an engineer. This was my first experience of an actual manufacturing facility and was just what I hoped it would be.

“The placement was focussed on CAD design, 3D printing and product development.

“Fabricon gave me the freedom to learn and apply my design skills, while taking me through the ropes of learning all the functions of their operation.

“I have been able to incorporate some of my experiences as proof points in my academic work, and ultimately secure a job.”

Interns are working on live projects across the North West which are having a real effect on the business’s long-term success.

 

Projects range from implementing new hardware or software to developing a digital road map and strategy to support their digital transformation.

SME manufacturers are benefiting from the fresh insight of a digital native to help them adopt technological tools that result in a raft of benefits, including increased revenue growth, reduced production time, and produce the data and insight for new product and market development.

Meanwhile, interns are benefitting from paid work experience, valuable hands-on practical work experience, a taste of a potential career path, and a foot in the door of a forward-thinking company or industry. A number have even secured permanent jobs.

Made Smarter, the industry-led, government-backed national movement, has a wealth of students and graduates ready to take up the 480-hour internships which can be carried out through full-time or part-time options.

Donna Edwards, programme director for Made Smarter, said: “It has been fantastic to see so many talented students and post-graduates helping to realise the technology ambitions of many of the region’s SME manufacturers.

“It’s a win-win for the interns and manufacturers. Students and graduates gain industry knowledge, transferable skills and real-life experience, while being paid the national living wage, and businesses can benefit from a fully funded digital native to help them to understand how new technology can transform production.

“Internships and work placements are a vital tool for students making that transition from university to employment.

“The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of opportunities, and a lot of uncertainty as to what will be available in the future.

“Made Smarter has been successful in linking digital technology interns to manufacturers all over the North West and I would encourage undergraduates in their second and third year, postgraduates at any stage of their course and recent graduates from any UK university to register their interest.”

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