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Latest News

Torbay’s engineers of the future experience Gooch & Housego, Torquay

29th March 2018

Categories: Latest News

As part of British Science Week and National Apprenticeship Week, handpicked students were invited into Gooch and Housego (G&H), Torquay.

The students were given a glimpse of what their future could look like as part of the TDA’s portfolio of MADE activities.

Year 10 and 11 students with an interest in manufacturing or engineering were given a tour of the site to see fibre optic technology in action, followed by an opportunity to speak to apprentices and graduates about their experiences.

Deborah Passmore, Partnership Executive at TDA, said: “With much of students’ learning taking place in the classroom, a visit to a local company with a tour around the site can be a great way of inspiring young people and encouraging them to consider a career within Torbay. There are opportunities within the manufacturing and hi tech industries locally for apprentices or graduates and we’re keen to showcase these to students in our schools.”

G&H, Torquay designs, manufactures and supplies fibre optic technology across the world, and is part of the multinational G&H Group. Head of Fibre Optics, Graham Catley, hosted the students for the morning.

Graham said: “The event was very successful and was appreciated by all of those who attended. There was a real buzz in the air when students and staff came back upstairs. G&H recognise the need to show young people the career opportunities in Torbay and the engineering sector, and we regularly appoint new apprentices.

“The students also got to meet Ollie Hemus, who took part in the MADE project work experience in 2016 while he was at Brixham College and is now our latest apprentice.”

Ollie said: “Following my experience with the MADE project, I had been given a valuable insight into what was happening locally for engineering businesses and the future possibilities for me within this workplace. Keen to be involved, I then successfully pursued an apprenticeship with G&H to further my future in the engineering sector.”

MADE (Manufacturing Activities Designed to Engage) is a pilot project delivering a variety of manufacturing focussed activities to inspire and excite young people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning from Primary School, through Secondary School into further education and beyond.

MADE is a result of an ongoing partnership activity at the Torbay Hi Tech and Manufacturing Forum Education Sub Group. Facilitated by TDA, the groups, with their mix of industry professionals and schools, meet regularly to work together and strengthen the relationship between what the students are taught and how it is applied in the real world.

Torbay and South Devon is nationally recognised by industry as one of the top locations for electronics and photonics expertise in the country, and has a strong and growing cluster.

Martin Foulger, Chair of Torbay Hi Tech Forum, said: “Torbay has a thriving hi tech sector, being home to several national and international businesses serving a wide-range of technologies and customers.

“The Forum supports promotion and awareness of the tech sector to schools, encouraging engagement with students to ensure future availability of local talent within the Bay. The Forum’s education sub-group is doing a great job leading this key activity.”

Engineering and Manufacturing companies that are interested in providing a one week work experience placement to young people interested in careers in engineering can contact Debbie Passmore on 01803 208378 or visit for more information.

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