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Jessica Mcnaughton programmes a robotic arm
Jessica McNaughton, a student at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, programmes a robotic arm at Jaguar Land Rover

Year 12 students from Norfolk visited Jaguar Land Rover and the University of Birmingham over two days to learn about career routes into the famous UK car maker.

The event was organized by Take Your Place – a programme focusing on improving progression of targeted young people in year 9-13 to higher education.

For Take Your Place, the project is all about raising aspirations. Andy Underwood, Higher Education Champion, Take Your Place said: “The intention behind this visit is to help familiarise year 12 students with the opportunities available within engineering and the different pathways to a rewarding career within the sector.”

The students from Great Yarmouth, Norwich and King’s Lynn enjoyed a tour of the state of the art factory in Castle Bromwich, home of the F-Type Sports Car. The tour included an opportunity for students to program a robotic arm. Jamie Whitehead (Operations Director, Castle Bromich, Jaguar Land Rover) said: “Jaguar Land Rover was one of the first companies to offer degree apprenticeships in the UK. Our model has been held up as the benchmark for how universities and industry can collaborate to develop highly trained and skilled young professionals. Currently Jaguar takes around 150 new degree apprentices every year and altogether they have about 650 apprentices spread across six year groups.”

Harry, a student from the College of West Anglia commenting on the exepreince said: “The tour opened my eyes to a career in engineering, with large amounts to inspire me in the factory and operations. I was particularly interested in how I can join the company through an apprenticeship.” While Osama from UTCN said, “The visit to Jaguar and the University of Birmingham really helped me to confirm in my mind which kind of Engineering I want to go into at university.” Led by student ambassadors, the students then visited the University of Birmingham which offers a range of different undergraduate degrees in Engineering. The tour included a visit to the UBRacing, the University’s Formula Student team. A project led by university students to design and built a single-seat racing car to compete in the Formula Student Racing Competition; an educational engineering competition backed by industry and high-profile figures from Formula One.

Andy concluded that many of the students on the visit come from rural or coastal parts of Norfolk making this a new and exciting experience for them. “For many this will have been their first opportunity they have had to visit such an iconic employer and a Russell Group university."

A single-seater racing car presented by UBRacing