Kidderminster firm help Baxter College race ahead

Kidderminster Shuttle: Raring to go: Teachers Michael Bullock, left, and Simon Gough, back right, with members of the Baxter College Engineering Club and their electric racing car. Raring to go: Teachers Michael Bullock, left, and Simon Gough, back right, with members of the Baxter College Engineering Club and their electric racing car.

A KIDDERMINSTER business is encouraging the engineers of tomorrow by supporting a new club at Baxter College.

Beakbane, manufacturers of machinery protection, is working in partnership with the college by providing financial support and advice to a new engineering club.

The club's first project, which is also supported by car dealership Hills Ford, is to build and race an electric car in the national Institution of Engineering and Technology Formula 24 competition.

Mike Southwell, Beakbane’s managing director, said: “The aim of the club is to get young people interested and involved in engineering at a time when they can still make decisions about their future careers.

“Beakbane was looking for an opportunity to encourage young people in the area to develop engineering skills and make their careers in the sector.

"We told Mark Garnier [Wyre Forest MP] about the difficulty we sometimes had in finding the right apprentices and that ideally we wanted to be working with kids before they were 16 to fire up the passion for engineering at an early age so that they would choose it as a career.

"We are looking at all kinds of different ways we can help them. We will offer advice, help with manufacturing and materials, go along and get involved in their sessions and provide financial support for things like team clothing."

The 12 members of the club, two girls and 10 boys, aged between 14 and 16, meet once a week after school in their own time.

Head of science at Baxter College, Simon Gough, who runs the club, said: "Beakbane have said that when we have designed the body shell they will make it for us. We hope that the students will be able to go and look at it being made and then fit it on the car so they will learn about modern materials too. It brings together lessons from science with design and technology."

Mr Southwell added: “This is something that these girls and boys are doing in their own time and on their own initiative. In fact, they had to go through a process of putting their CV forward before they could join the club.

“They are doing something that is fun and will be useful for the future. Not just for Beakbane but for the local community and UK manufacturing in general."

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