AESSEAL goes virtual to help bridge engineering skills gap

The AESSEAL test house features in its virtual tour

AESSEAL® has taken its award-winning student outreach work online to ensure it continues to help bridge the engineering skills gap in South Yorkshire during lockdown.

Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the Rotherham based mechanical seals manufacturer had to rethink how it engaged with students and enable them to experience working life in a modern engineering company.

Its response is to produce a virtual tour of its state-of-the-art centre and headquarters, where it designs and manufactures mechanical seals, dry gas seals and bearing protectors for industries around the world, using advanced digital technology and machinery.

In addition to the ten-minute virtual AESSEAL® tour, Students interested in STEM subjects and careers can watch other web-based resources to give them an insider view of how mechanical seals are manufactured, including a ‘day-in-the-life’ of engineering professionals from a range of departments. The virtual tour will also feature in the first ever online Get Up to Speed (GUTS) with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) event – Get Up to Speed the Virtual Experience – from 22nd to 26th March 2021.

AESSEAL® is a partner of the interactive event, organised by The Work-Wise Foundation, and has donated an additional £14,000 to help Work-Wise create the online platform for GUTS, which in previous years was held at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham. AESSEAL® Managing Director Chris Rea will deliver a keynote speech on Betterworld.Solutions and how business leaders can make a difference in helping to save the environment whilst making a return on the investment, at the virtual GUTS event on March 26th. The company also supported the Work-Wise Virtual Summer Academy last year, with AESSEAL® ‘ambassadors’ sharing first-hand experience of life as an engineering professional.

AESSEAL® has a long history of promoting engineering as a profession which young people can aspire to. In a typical year pre-lockdown it engaged with around 4,000 students, through visits from and to schools, hosting recruitment days with a strong focus on attracting women into engineering, and supporting a range of STEM events in the region.

Stephen Shaw, Engineering Director, said: “AESSEAL® reaches out to students from Year 6 primary schools upwards in our efforts to show young people that engineering is a profession to aspire to and progress in. This work is vital to help bridge the skills gap in the region so we were determined that lockdown wouldn’t bring it to a halt. We’ve been working closely with schools to provide them with online resources and we’ve been glad to continue our long-standing support for work-wise in the virtual environment.

“Young people live in a digital age so we’re confident that they’ll enjoy and benefit from our online guided tour and resources until we can throw open our ‘real-life’ doors to them again.”

The AESSEAL virtual tour can be found here.

More information about Get up to Speed The Virtual Experience can be found here.

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