MBDA UK has won the prestigious Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Manufacturing Excellence award for “Best Partnership between Business and Education”. The company received the award at the Institution’s annual awards evening on Wednesday 13th June and was recognised for the depth and breadth of its educational activities across all levels of education.
MBDA has a long tradition of educational links and has formal partnerships with The Barclay School Technology College in Stevenage, Mangotsfield School Engineering College in Bristol and, in the north-west, Mount St. Joseph School and The Deanery School in Bolton and Wigan respectively.
All these partnerships have long-term strategic relationships with MBDA sites in respect of the local community, employment and career opportunities. Additionally the company hosts the educational organisation Setpoint Hertfordshire at its Stevenage site.
MBDA regularly deploys its 90 Engineering Ambassadors to school activities and is a committed supporter of the more commercially orientated Young Enterprise programme.
At its Lostock facility (near Bolton) the company was amongst the first in the UK to offer the Young Apprentice Programme and work is now in progress with the Stevenage 14/19 Partnership to support the establishment of a similar programme in Stevenage in 2008. Additionally the company has over sixty school governors amongst its employees.
Karen Donley, HR Director MBDA UK, commented: "We are delighted and proud to win this benchmark award for educational partnerships. We attach great value to the extensive range of activities that we do with local schools and educational organisations. We regard them as essential to our strategy of promoting engineering as an exciting, value-added career, whilst ensuring the retention of key engineering skills in the communities in which we work.
We enjoy excellent professional relationships with all our sponsored schools
and this enables us to offer a mixture of traditional educational support linked to a series of innovative and exciting student challenges to enhance the
learning environment and curriculum delivery."
Russell Ball, Director of Stevenage 14-19 Partnership and Head Teacher of The Barclay School, Stevenage added: “Along with my fellow Head Teachers in Bristol and Bolton, I am thrilled that MBDA have attained this award. They have always worked with us as equal partners, always willingly giving our students access to their facilities and staff expertise.
The relationship that Barclay enjoys with MBDA represents a benchmark for education-business links and I hope that other companies, both large and small, would wish to follow this model and become equally involved with local schools. It is not just about fulfilling their corporate social responsibility. The companies will gain immeasurably by engaging with an extremely valuable commodity, the workforce of the future.
Britain has always had a reputation for producing world-leading engineering solutions. I believe it is vital for our future that the next generation of engineers, technicians and scientists is nurtured though such strong partnerships. We all end as winners – the nation, our schools, our businesses and, most importantly, our young people.”