28 Nov North Star offers direction to young people in South Yorkshire

More than 650 school children between the ages of 11 and 14, attended North Star 2022 in November and had a go at casting as part of the Science Summer School Programme.

United Cast Bar Group were one of the main sponsors and hosted an activity zone featuring sand casting and additive manufacturing, and supported by staff from Weir Minerals and using several ‘Foundry in a Box’ kits from the Cast Metals Federation, CMF.

During the day, which was organised by The Work-wise Foundation, hundreds of the children were able to have a go at moulding and then casting a star in a low melting point tin alloy which they could then take home with them.  The activities were led by UCB’s own apprentices and graduate metallurgists who were able to discuss the role of the casting and foundry industry in making engineered components for all sectors of the UK economy, using recycled metal as the raw material.

The team from Weir Minerals also featured in the programme of talks in the main theatre with foundry patternmaker Charlie-Amber Tattersall and machinist Rosie McQuillan both speaking about their careers and the opportunities being offered to them in manufacturing by Weir Minerals.

Leonie Greenwood, HR Coordinator for Weir Minerals Europe Limited, said, “It was great for some of our young team to be able to share their passion for the metals sector with all these young children.  Hopefully we shall have encouraged some of them to consider taking science subjects when selecting their options.  And for our young technicians to be on a programme which also featured Professor Brian Cox CBE was particularly inspiring.

“Seeing all the other activities on offer from companies like CBE+, Forged Solutions and the UK Atomic Energy companies has also given us some ideas of how we can increase our own engagement with some local schools which will help with our own future apprentice recruitment.”

James Brand, Managing Director of United Cast Bar Group, agreed saying, “It is important that we, as businesses, take an active role in initiatives like this.  We can’t expect school staff and parents to know about the career opportunities available in UK engineering and manufacturing, and if we are to attract future talent then we all need to spread the word.

“I am grateful to my colleague David Beet for all his hard work in organising our area and for the additional support from our partners, Weir Minerals and the Cast Metals Federation.  We will all be back again next year.”

The North Star programme aims to promote and applaud innovation and provide the opportunity to inspire the next generation to consider careers in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) subjects, backing a vision for the UK to become the best place in the world to practice these subjects through establishing sustainable partnerships between businesses with local schools.

Angela Mason
Angela Mason