Randstad Student Support, a leading provider of learning support staff, has taken a group of 15 budding Formula 1 racing engineers to the Williams Martini Racing F1 Factory for a day of innovation, excitement and engineering insight.
The lucky group from North Shropshire College included 14 students who fought off tough competition to win the trip, managing to take home the trophy in a competition hosted by Randstad Student Support at the Association of Colleges conference held in November.
Randstad Student Support worked with 65 further education colleges and 93 universities around the UK last year, providing vital support for 28,000 students, helping them to achieve their potential.
All the students on the tour are currently studying either engineering or mechanics at the college and were given a glimpse into the inner working of the Williams garages. Also attending from Randstad was Victoria Short, Managing Director, Sadie Besley, Operations Director and Karen Guthrie, Further Education Development Manager.
Students visited the advanced engineering section of the factory, learning how engineers at Williams use their high-tech, scientific knowledge to solve everyday problems. For example, students discovered that Williams’ pioneering work in cooling down race car engines had been transferred to reducing energy bills in the frozen aisles of supermarkets – creating vast energy savings.
This revealed the wide range of professional options available to the students and the versatility of engineering as a career choice. With 431 engineering jobs currently available on Randstad’s website there’s high hopes the visit will have inspired a new generation of expertise.
Students also got the chance to prove their racing credentials and try to beat the best of F1 drivers on a BATAK reaction machine. Unfortunately the chequered flag was out of reach – with most posting scores half those of professional drivers.
And the final pit stop was to the Williams museum, to check out the trophy collection and see F1 mementos up close.
Sadie Besley, Operations Director, Randstad Student Support comments: “This competition was all about inspiring innovation in students – and giving them a glimpse into a potential career in engineering. F1 is the pinnacle of professional racing – and we want North Shropshire students to be at the top of their game. It was fantastic to see the students engage with the experience and fully embrace all the elements that create a successful F1 team. A practical and hands-on opportunity can give students the motivation to further their careers and something to aim for in the future. The skills picked up on the tour are highly applicable and will act as a real motivator for these budding engineers.”
A real highlight of the trip was a chance to speak to Williams engineers and learn more about their career paths. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about future career prospects on offer at Williams. There are a wide variety of ways for students to improve their skills, with many apprenticeships on offer throughout the industry.
Sadie Besley, Operations Director, Randstad Student Support concludes: “The best way to get ahead and give yourself the best career opportunities in the engineering sector is to get some hands-on experience. It doesn’t have to be paid work, any time that can be spent learning on the job, gaining practical skills and boosting your experience can give you a great advantage as a candidate. It’s hard to find the right person for the right job and experience and enthusiasm are key for outpacing other applicants.
“For further education colleges looking to encourage students to pursue their interests in engineering and technology, the best way is to provide opportunities to see engineers in action. This doesn’t have to be a grand trip to a F1 Factory, it can simply be arranging for engineers to visit and speak to students. Practical advice is particularly important. And nothing is as inspiring as seeing a true professional in action.”