The 5th-9th of December 2016 marked European Vocational Skills Week, a week designed to highlight the value of vocational pathways, and their benefits to individuals and society.
Siemens set its own apprentices the challenge of constructing a true to life model of the Atomium building in Belgium. Apprentices from Siemens businesses across nine countries designed and manufactured parts of the Atomium, with the final assembly undertaken by Siemens UK apprentices at NTAR.
Many challenges arose throughout the build with parts not arriving in time for assembly, but our learners proved themselves to be apt problem solvers, showing real ingenuity. Two Siemens Rail Systems apprentices, Tom Lees and Marcus Hawksworth, then transported the model to Brussels where they presented it to the European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen during the week’s closing ceremony. The successful project was a celebration of the diversity of skills and talents amongst Siemens apprentices.
As part of the week NTAR also invited local schools and colleges to visit the facility. Daventry UTC and Northampton International Academy came to NTAR for a day of tours, talks, and STEM activities around NTAR and Kings Heath Train depot, geared at highlighting vocational skills and sparking an interest in engineering and rail. Students had the opportunity to meet Siemens Rail Systems Fleet Delivery Manager Gordon Virgo and chat with second year apprentice Taylor Nelson about apprenticeships and routes into engineering. Trying out our Pauley Virtual Reality headsets, the visitors then got to undertake STEM activities, designed by TeachFirst, based around the mock up and range of components in our workshop. Feedback received from students was very positive with many commenting on how much they learnt about the trains, (bogies!) and post-16 opportunities that are available to them.
We’re already looking forward to European Vocational Skills Week 2017 #VET