When Lucite International’s Newton Aycliffe site (LISPR) set up a community involvement group in 2015, a key aim was to inspire and establish close links with the local community. In 2016, a link was established with Woodham Academy which has seen visits hosted every year since as part of its Apprenticeship Awareness Challenge.

This program allows students to research apprenticeship and career opportunities in manufacturing companies in the local area. Students visit LISPR to learn about our apprenticeship opportunities and other routes into the company and industry.

In September, LISPR hosted a new group of Woodham Academy students who enjoyed an introduction to the site, an overview of our product range and an insight into how roles are recruited for. This was followed by several activities designed to give a deeper feel for the business and its people…

Ross Martinscroft, Industrial Research Postdoctorate, explained:

“My involvement was to introduce the students to what we do as a company and the opportunities we have available, explaining our products and what goes into making them. This was followed by a fun demonstration in the R&D lab of some of our products and methods. The whole process was enjoyable because it felt like we were introducing students to something interesting that they would not normally see, and hopefully showed them that science is pretty cool.”

Demonstrations were followed by plant tours, giving students a great insight into manufacturing processes and equipment while meeting the operating team behind it all.

Yvonne West, HR Manager, added:

“We have been involved with the Apprenticeship Awareness Challenge for a number of years. The students are always interested and enthusiastic and it was great this year to be asked so many questions about our products and possible careers.”

Over the next few weeks, James Bradley, Maintenance Manager, will continue his yearly tradition of attending the Academy, this time joined by Ross, to help students with their research projects about apprenticeship opportunities. At the end of this period, the students will present their research in front of local company representatives, parents, students and a panel of judges.

LISPR’s representatives have always found these presentations to be extremely well delivered, so they are looking forward to seeing this continue this year.