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Amcanu - Future Engineers

The NPTC Group of Colleges Education Award, 2017, Shortlisted

Amcanu is a small business employing 35 members of staff operating in Burry Port, Carmarthenshire. It specialises in the manufacture of world class attenuation enclosures which in turn help to maintain the optimum performance of pumps and compressors. 

Good for business

  • Skills boost for staff – 100% of staff who have taken part in the programme with Glan y Môr have reported they have grown in confidence and mentoring / training skills
  • Positive PR – by working closely and effectively with a local school, Amcanu has seen a boost in its own public profile
  • Building the future workforce – engaging young people in manufacturing and STEM careers is helping to build a future pipeline of young people who are interested these careers, hopefully with Amcanu

Good for society

  • New skills – pupils who work with Amcanu gain new technical skills, supporting their future career choices and progression
  • Profile raising – building the UK-wide profile of the partner school, Glan y Môr, is attracting new opportunities into the school
  • Boosting communities – supporting young people in their local community empowers them to find employment locally, preventing brain drain away to other parts of Wales

Future Engineers

Amcanu works in partnership with a local school (Glan y Môr) and college (Coleg Sir Gâr) to take young people out of the classroom and light a spark of interest in them about potential careers in engineering at some point in their future. By building work placements that are fun, engaging and are aligned with what business needs, young people want and what the school and college partners can offer, Amcanu is making a difference – particularly to its workforce. Five apprentices in the last two years have joined the company from the partner college and 50% of the current workforce (35 FTE) came through apprenticeship programmes. 

With grown plans that are pushing the company to achieve 20% growth year on year there was a clear business imperative to find a way of getting inspired, engaged young people into the company. As a family-owned community-driven business, partnering with a local school and college was the obvious solution to the business challenge. Partnering specifically on a STEM programme with both the school and college has allowed young people to get out of the classroom and into a real-world manufacturing setting – a commitment to which is led personally by the Managing Director. 

Activity with the school and college ranges from establishing a bursary for individual students who complete a specific engineering challenge, providing mentoring and training opportunities for Amcanu staff to work with pupils and prospective apprentices, to raising the profile of engineering careers within the school and local community. Over 100 college and school students have worked with Amcanu over the last two years and Glan y Môr is increasingly being recognised for excellence in STEAM – partly due to the work it does with local employers like Amcanu.

The school has worked with Amcanu on the Big Bang 2016 competition, where the school took two of the top prizes; the F1 Challenge and the TeenTech City of Tomorrow competition. Together Amcanu and Glan y Môr are not only raising the profile of STEM engineers and working in partnership to provide the skills Wales’ future employer needs, but are also raising their own profile at the same time.

What Amcanu’s Managing Director said:

“Our programme makes good business sense. By supporting our community we contribute to the health and happiness of our workforce. By working with local schools and colleges to inspire the engineers of the future we are making sure that in years to come we have a pool of skilled and enthusiastic young people interested in a career in manufacturing.”Owain Davies, Managing Director, Amcanu