East Anglian firm builds bridges towards careers in Engineering

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An East Anglian firm is literally building bridges between industry and education in a bid to encourage more young people to consider careers in engineering.

Superstructures – who has offices in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk – visited One in Ipswich to discuss job opportunities in the field of structural engineering.

During their visit, the firm challenged students - who are all studying on a BTEC level three engineering pathway - to build a bridge capable of holding a half kilo weight in 75 minutes using basic materials.

The idea was to bring to life the creativity, teamwork and problem solving that’s required by individuals who want to work as structural engineers in the future.

James Potter is managing director of Superstructures. He said, “We have a big skills shortage in engineering and construction locally, so we wanted to bring a slice of the real world to One to show learners the depth of career opportunities that are available.

“I love my job and find it incredibly satisfying. Every day is a school day and you are constantly learning. I wanted to try and bring that enthusiasm to One and the students really enjoyed participating in the bridge building session.”

Former One student Liam Swann, works for Superstructures as a degree apprentice and returned to the college to help with the ‘bridge building’ event. He started his apprenticeship degree based in Ipswich branch only days after picking up his A Level results.

The 18 year old from Stowmarket, said, “I contacted James whilst I was at One and was taken on as an apprentice soon after my A Level results were confirmed. It was great to be back and hopefully this event will inspire others to follow the same path as me.”

16-year-old Mia Duncan is a student at One who took part in the sessions. She said, “It’s good working with external companies as it takes you out of the classroom and into the real world.”

Teacher of engineering at One, Abdul Samba, said, “We would like to thank Superstructures for their support. They have been incredibly supportive towards us as a college in recent years and we are looking forward to working with them again in the future.”