It began with a conversation between HRH The Prince of Wales and Jon Bolton, former Director Long Products Europe. Now in its fifth year, Industrial Cadets has built a credible reputation as a national accreditation for industry workplace experiences.
Working with a catalog of like-minded companies sharing the same vision of improving the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) industry’s talent pool, the emphasis of Industrial Cadets is on skills development and knowledge of career opportunities for young people.
Last month, HRH The Prince of Wales attended an event at the Redcar Community Heart to see how the community and former SSI workers, apprentices and businesses affected by the SSI closure have been supported in the wake of the steel crisis. During the event, some of the latest Industrial Cadets representing schools such as St Mary’s Catholic School, Kenton School, St Peter’s School and Redcar Academy had the chance to meet HRH The Prince of Wales as he shook hands and spoke to them.
Led under the management of education charity EDT (the Engineering Development Trust), the strict quality control of Industrial Cadets accreditation has been influential for the young people involved. Rebecca McMahon, Talent, Development & Resourcing Manager, said: “More than 95% of cadets see an improvement in their work-relevant skills such as team work, critical thinking, communication and organisation and planning. Importantly for the vision of Industrial Cadets, 70% of the cadets taking part feel they are more likely to go into industry as a result of being an industrial cadet.”
A study commissioned by the Royal Academy of Engineering found that British industry will need 100,000 new graduates in STEM subjects every year until 2020 just to maintain current employment numbers. However, thanks to Industrial Cadets’ efforts, there are now more than 3,500 Industrial Cadets drawn from more than 1,000 schools. More than 200 companies, including ourselves in Scunthorpe and Teeside, have held Industrial Cadet accredited programmes and more than 400 employees have been trained as mentors.