Pentagon opens its doors to University and Engineering students

StudentsOver the past couple of weeks we have been delighted to welcome various groups of students to Pentagon Plastics in Horsham, West Sussex. 

Our business serves the Plastic Injection Moulding sector providing design assistance, product development, UK manufactured mould tooling and the repeat production of our customers bespoke plastic components across many industries.  Having traded for over 40 years we felt our experience could be put to good use by getting involved with the younger generations looking to step in to the Manufacturing Industry.  In 2013 we took part in a Careers Networking Event at The Forest School, a local boys Secondary School, as well as our first taste of hosting a student visit when we opened our doors to 20 Design students from the University of Sussex.  Strong relations have also been formed with trainers, tutors and facilitators at Brighton University.  These were really positive experiences for us here at Pentagon and have paved the way for our further efforts to become more involved in providing an additional source of ‘value added education’ to those with an interest in the industry.

Our first two visits to Pentagon of 2014 came from Product Design students across the year groups at Brighton University.  Our new on-site training room enabled us to welcome up to 20 students at a time to listen to a presentation delivered by our Managing Director, Mr Paul Edwards. This gave an overview of our Plastic Injection Moulding business and detailed the services we offer.  Time is taken to ensure the presentations are tailored to those attending, making sure that the information they receive is relevant and of specific interest to them.  On this occasion the focus was on both Mould Tool and Product Design specifically for the Injection Moulding process. 

Student VisitFollowing Paul’s presentation all of the students are able to take a guided tour of our facilities and have a look at an array of products, tools and moulding machines seeing all of the processes in action.  Those attending were able to move freely around the Toolroom and Mould Shop departments speaking with members of our team whilst they were undertaking their daily tasks to find out more about processes that interested them.  We found that everyone attending was really engaged and interested in what they were being shown and many questions were being asked along the way.  It was surprising however that this was the first taste for many of them of a working manufacturing environment. To round off the visits, the students returned to the training room for a Q&A session allowing for further knowledge to be obtained.

Our final visit of last week saw us welcome 16 Engineering students over from France who we’re looking to gain a better understanding of UK Manufacturing.  Following a similar program we introduced them to Pentagon Plastics and took them through our services in detail again giving them the opportunity to walk through the various departments.

The feedback received so far has been very positive and we are hopeful that we will be able to build on this offering further presentations and site visits throughout the year.  As a business we are only too aware of the current skills shortage in UK Manufacturing and are trying to take steps to do what we can to bridge this gap moving forward.

Our Industry boasts a variety of career opportunities and we would like to encourage more people to step in to Manufacturing.  Factories are no longer the greasy establishments they once where and we need people with the manual skills required, they have not all been made obsolete by new technologies!!

Later this year we will be welcoming our first secondary school work experience candidate providing exposure to the highly skilled work that is undertaken here and give an insight in to the opportunities it holds.