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GWP offer support for future engineers at Swindon UTC

Matt Dobson: Last Updated 18th February 2022
Posted In: Company News | Education xx 31179

Swindon University Technical College Visit GWP

GWP Packaging provides an educational tour for the future generation of engineers

Students studying with Swindon’s University Technical College (UTC) were presented with an opportunity to see first-hand a high-tech industrial manufacturing process at work last week.

The students of UTC were surprised at the hidden complexities and challenges involved in the manufacturing of a cardboard box.

A group of twelve students visited both the design studio and production facility at GWP Packaging’s base in Cricklade, where they were taught about the entire manufacturing process – from start to finish.

UTC visits GWP
James Pedley, Operations Manager at GWP Group, talks with students from Swindon UTC

The year 12 students, were able to get up close to the working manufacturing machinery and see directly, the range of technical processes involved in manufacturing. They were taken aback at the operations carried to create what appears to a consumer to be a simple product.

Students were able to see and ask questions about pneumatics and hydraulics whilst they experienced manufacturing from the start of the process at goods in, through production at the Cricklade site, to finished items in the goods out area.

Robert Gibbs, Engineering Tutor at UTC Swindon, said;

This was a fantastic opportunity for the students to see an industrial environment with real world examples of what we have been teaching them. Being able to bring the theory of what the young engineers have been learning to life is invaluable. I’d like to thank GWP for working with us to make this possible for the students. I think the students were all genuinely surprised at how much engineering is involved in the design and manufacture of corrugated cardboard boxes.

Supporting education

The year 12 pupils who were involved in the visit are all studying BTEC Level 3 Engineering. The visit to GWP supported several units of their course, such as health and safety, engineering design, hydraulics and pneumatics.

James Pedley, Operations Manager at GWP Packaging said;

We believe it’s very important for all employers to do their bit to support the education of young people. Schools and colleges can only do so much but by investing time into projects such as this. Employers can really make a difference to the quality of education that youngsters receive and that inevitably helps improve the employability skills of young people.

This is the first visit GWP have hosted for UTC students but following its success further visits are planned for next year.

Robert added;

GWP are experts in engineered cost reduction and just-in-time supply so it will be very valuable for our students to learn more about these important subjects. They also work across many industries, such as automotive, aerospace and retail so the breadth of their experience will be very useful.

Student Feedback

Following the visit the students were enthusiastic about the experience.

Lauryn Bailey, one of the students at UTC Swindon said;

It was more interesting than I thought it was going to be. Seeing how much goes into a business of that type was good.

Another student, James Goodchild, added;

Seeing the whole process from goods in through production to goods out was useful, the tour was good and I now have a greater appreciation for a business environment.

Swindon UTC

The Swindon based University of Technical Institute which is located in Churchward just a short walk from the Railway Village, is a an innovative high-tech College who offer an academic curriculum for students aged 14-19.

The structured education plan includes GCSE’s and A levels alongside the students technical taught BTEC. The students can choose between technical subject Engineering or, Business and ICT.

Swindon UTC visit GWP Packaging
Swindon UTC students on the factory floor at GWP Packaging's Cricklade production facility

The employer-focused technical college opened in 2014 and aims to provide students with hands-on skills which address the divide between education and industry.

With a shortage of skilled engineers the Swindon UTC gives students a unique opportunity to work towards careers with critical economic regeneration roles.

Find out more...

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About the Author

Matt Dobson

Marketing Manager | GWP Group

Matt has worked in the packaging industry for approximately 9 years, having joined GWP Group as Marketing Executive in 2012. [Read full bio…]

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