Year in review 2017

Release date: 10/01/2018

2017 has been a fantastic year filled to the brim with events and seeing students flourish. 2017 has been a successful year to go start inspiring young adults ahead of the 2018 Year of Engineering.

2017 has seen a big change in the way in which the ACE (Awareness of Careers in Engineering) programme is now delivered with the schools.  Following consultation with schools, the ESSG (Engineering Sector Skills Group) and ACE committees looked at how the programme is structured as the schools requested that there be more interaction and interactive sessions with employers rather than the fairly static Powerpoint presentations that served us well in our early years.

The committees (which are both governed by the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce) also reviewed how the ACE programme was coordinated and after careful consideration, entered into a contract with to assist with the coordination of the schools programmes and key events.  This change coincided with the previous Engineering Champion moving on to take up another engineering-related career opportunity. From March 2017, led by Lorna Trevethan, took over the day-to-day administration and coordination of the Programme. already coordinates all Year 10 work experience on behalf of the Department for Education, Sport and Culture and therefore have the necessary experience and contacts with the schools to help facilitate the programme.

Key Events through the Year

Sector Careers Event – 8th March 2017 at the AMTC (Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre, UCM).  We were delighted that 8 companies participated and overall there was good attendance by students. 

Following feedback received from the participating companies, the event will be further improved in 2018 and better marketed with the schools.  Provisional date for 2018 is Thursday 1st March at the AMTC Hills Meadow – further details to be circulated.

Careers Event AMTC  Careers Event AMTC

(Students and parents interacting with companies and participating in the Swagelok Pressure Valve Challenge)

Smallpeice Trust

As part of our work in changing the ACE programme in schools, in March Lorna and Colin Bagshaw (from RLC) were invited to Ramsey Grammar School to observe a Smallpeice Trust Education day.  It was great to see the students in such an interactive event – although in classrooms they were able to do things that wouldn’t normally be allowed – like making & throwing paper aeroplanes around!

Smallpeice Trust  Smallpeice Trust Smallpeice Trust  Smallpeice Trust

The ACE programme in 2018 is going to include a week in February (w/c 26th) in which each school has an assigned day of Smallpeice Trust activities with their Year 8 students.

Annual Apprentice Awards

First and Second Year students were rewarded for their hard work on the 30th May with the following awards (sponsored by Ronaldsway RLC, Swagelok, Target Tools, Triumph and Strix) made:

First Year Best Bench Fitter – Fred Buxton

First Year Best Manual Milling Machine Operator – Tom Kinrade

First Year Best Manual Lathe Operator – Tom Kinrade

First Year Best Overall Student – Fred Buxton

Second Year Best Overall Student – Matthew Molesworth

Each Award recipient received £100

  Annual Apprentice Awards  Annual Apprentice Awards

Schools Ambassador Sessions

A further addition to the ACE programme are ACE Ambassador sessions with Year 9 students.  During 2017 these sessions were piloted with at Ballakermeen High School in June.  The Engineering Sector representatives joined forces with representatives from the ICT Sector to deliver a number of sessions to all Year 9 students (between 250 -300 students) there about careers in both sectors and how the two sectors are becoming more linked as a lot of engineering machinery uses software and electronics to run.  These sessions proved very popular and because of them, a number of students changed their GCSE options to include engineering! 

Schools Ambassador Sessions  Schools Ambassador Sessions

Sessions for 2018 are currently being organised, and if you or your organisation would like to be involved in these interactions with the schools then please get in touch with Lorna as soon as possible so that you can be included in these very valuable sessions.  It is a great opportunity to not only showcase general careers in Engineering but also to promote your organisation!

D&T Awards

These annual awards in June invites the best coursework entries from all 5 High Schools and King William’s College at iGCSE, A-Level and International Baccalaureate Level to be considered for an award.  Each of the 12 participants are awarded a certificate and £25.

There were lots discussions with the students by our judges, who in 2017 year were:
Mr Chris Allen - Triumph Actuation Systems
Mr Ian Laing - RLC Ronaldsway
Mr Dave Parkes - Swagelok
Mrs Ann Corlett MHK, Political Member for DEC
Mr Martyn Perkins MHK, Political Member for DED

All the judges were impressed by the very high standard of work, and after much deliberation the following awards were made:

Best GCSE: Cyprian Sciana from St Ninian's High School who won £50 and a trophy

Best A-Level: Marco Garmino from Ballakermeen High School who won £50 and a trophy

Best Overall: Alex Ollier from Castle Rushen High School who won £100 and a trophy

Congratulations to all the winners and all the participants - it was great to see so much innovation and quality of work!

D&T Awards  D&T Awards  D&T Awards

The Awards will be running again this year with the Atrium at the Isle of Man Airport already booked!  Further details about the Presentation Evening in late June will be circulated a little nearer the time.  However, if you would like to be a judge for this event please get in touch with Lorna so that you can be added to the list.

QE2 Science Fair

Colin Bagshaw (RLC), Dave Abbott (Swagelok) and Lorna had a great afternoon at QEII High School on 12th July 2017 judging and awarding The Isle of Man Engineering Group Award at their Annual Year 9 Science Fair.

They had a tough time deciding the winner and runners up as the students had put a lot of effort into their projects.

It was great to see the students so enthusiastic about their projects and enjoying studying STEM subjects!

QEII Science Fair  QEII Science Fair  QEII Science Fair

We are looking forward to going back in 2018!


The highlight of 2017 was bringing over the BLOODHOUND SSC show car, education team and the Pilot of the Car, Andy Green OBE.  The event took a lot of organising and coordinating with the schools but it was worth the effort, as it brought over 600 Year 7 students to the Isle of Man Motor Museum in Jurby to participate in activities such as building rocket K-NEX cars; designing, making and racing aerodynamic rocket cars;as well as having presentations from Andy Green.  The students were hopefully inspired by this event into thinking about careers in engineering.  There are far too many people to thank but without each and every one of them, the event would not have been so successful!  However, one notable sponsor was the IoM Post Office who also issued a set of commemorative stamps in reccogntion of the Bloodhound programme. Below are a few pictures of the many that were taken on the day.

Bloodhound SSC  Bloodhound SSC

Bloodhound SSC  Bloodhound SSC
Bloodhound SSC

Bloodhound SSC  Bloodhound SSC
Bloodhound SSC

We are hoping to run further large events (sponsorship funds permitting!), with the next one most likely taking the format of a Big Bang event in the summer of 2019.

Employability & Skills Fair –Villa Marina, November 2017

This was the last event with key companies hosting stalls.  We produced a new Career Pathways leaflet for the event to help demonstrate to students and parents alike, the different routes and careers available in the Sector.  If you would like some copies of the leaflet for your premises please get in touch with Lorna.

Apprentices alongside those with more established careers in the sector is a formula that is working well for events such as these, as young people relate better to young people whilst those with more experience can provide answers to more probing questions!

Over 1,000 students attended during the course of the day with many of the new leaflets given out.

Employment and Skills   Employment and Skills
Employment and Skills

Year 1 & 2 Apprentices

Lorna has run employability sessions with Year 2 students during the autumn term to highlight what employers are looking for.  The session includes CV and interview skills.

Lorna will be running some sessions with the Year 1 students in the Spring Term in preparation for their Summer Placements in industry

Key Dates for 2018

Smallpeice Trust week – W/C 26th February

Sector Careers Event – Thursday 1st March

School Options Evenings/Careers Events

  • Ballakermeen High School - 27th February
  • Ramsey Grammar School Year 9 - 8th March
  • QE2 High School - 14th March
  • Ramsey Grammar School Year 11 - 21st March

D&T Awards – Isle of Man Airport Atrium – 12/6/2018 – 30/6/2018 with the presentation evening to confirmed

Ambassador Sessions – Various times and dates with the schools – separate emails will be sent out.

Primary Schools – we will be re-introducing a new programme with the Primary Schools ready for the new academic year in September.  More details to follow on how you can get involved

Our ACE programme is 10 years old this year and this ties in with the UK Government’s Year of Engineering initiative

2018 The Year of Engineering

Sponsorship & Governance

ACE and ESSG are governed by the Engineering and Manufacturing Committee of the IoM Chamber of Commerce. The ESSG Chair is Nigel Brown (RLC Ronaldsway). The committee Chair is David Hester (Swagelok) who is also a Director of Chamber. All sponsorship monies are held in a Chamber bank account and all spending has pre-approval from the EMC Chair. Payment for prizes, marketing, events, ACE programme facilitation and direct ACE expenses come from sponsorship monies. Any excess is rolled into the next year’s budget.

Our thanks to our current sponsors: 

         triumph IOM Chamber                     DFE              IOM Gov        

                        Manx Utilities   Kiartys                            

                        Target Tools  Swagelok

                      WCT     Suez                           Strix