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Students celebrate National Manufacturing Day with historic engineering company

Posted: 29 September 2023

National Manufacturing Day was celebrated yesterday (28 September) with engineering and manufacturing students from West Nottinghamshire College visiting one of the area’s oldest manufacturers and suppliers of engineering components.

Boneham & Turner, which was established in Mansfield in 1918 by John Boneham, opened its doors to students at its Oddicroft Lane site in Sutton-in-Ashfield, just a few hundred metres from the college’s own Engineering Innovation Centre.

Learners from the Level 3 Advanced Manufacturing Award Year 1 and the new T Level Engineering Manufacturing, Processing and Control programmes, enjoyed a guided tour of its facilities, showcasing the new and classic manufacturing techniques that the company uses to manufacture precision engineered solutions to a global customer base.

Machines such as the waterjet was shown to the students, which was used to create specially designed trophies for the students’ visits. Each group was involved in a game of ‘Lingo Bingo’ to test their equipment knowledge and memory of typical engineering words and terminology used throughout the tours. Winners from each group, who scored the highest bingo mark, were presented with a trophy, that was fully manufactured at Boneham & Turner, showcasing their waterjet skills and 3D printing capabilities.

The tour and talks were led by co-managing directors Charles Boneham and Peter Boneham. Students learnt more about the company’s history and the types of precision engineering that the company specialises in, such as aerospace, defence, motorsport and composites.

Boneham & Turner have a long-standing relationship with the college, with Charles Boneham having completed his engineering apprenticeship there in 1989.

National Manufacturing Day was established by Make UK and it champions and celebrates British manufacturing, seeing many businesses showcase the range of highly skilled and well-paid jobs they have on offer at hundreds of sites and factories across the UK.

The day also focuses on the career opportunities for school and college leavers and demonstrates the value of a manufacturing apprenticeship as an alternative route after college. The company already employs four West Nottinghamshire College apprentices at the Kirkby-based site, with more hoping to join in the coming year.

Four groups of students visited the company throughout the day, and special guest Chris Corken, interim regional director of Make UK also paid a visit.

Mr Corken said: “It’s great to see first-hand Boneham & Turner open their doors in support of National Manufacturing Day. It was an important showcase of what we do, make and the careers on offer in modern high-tech environments. Our sector provides fulfilling and exciting careers that pay wages 9% higher than the overall economy. 

“The UK is the eight largest manufacturing nation in the world. National Manufacturing Day is all about shouting about that success and sharing with the local community how industry remains on the forefront of delivering net zero and entering into the fourth industrial revolution.”

Stacy Denton-Beaumont, Boneham & Turner’s operations manager, said: “It’s been a great pleasure to welcome students to our site, just down the road from the college. Our aim is to ensure that the next generation of engineers remain passionate about manufacturing in the UK, particularly in the core markets we support.  Even better, we hope to see some of these young adults joining the Boneham & Turner team in years to come.”

Head of the college’s engineering department Ben Toule said: “Everyone who visited the Boneham & Turner site was very impressed with the scope of precision engineering manufactured there.

“As we know engineering is changing and adapting every day and over three million people work in this sector, so it’s very beneficial for our students to be able to visit modern engineering companies to get an insight into how they work as well as the kind of roles they recruit into.

“This is especially useful to our new T Level students who are required to look into obtaining long-term work placements with companies such as this, so to get a live insight into the real-life workings of a production factory is incredibly important.”

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