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Students inspired by innovation at Labman

10 February 2020  |  Darren Smith

A group of students, from Stokesley School and Sixth Form College, enjoyed a taste of working life when Labman opened their doors for a tour around their state-of-the art facilities.

Labman employs 100 staff at their HQ in Seamer Hill, and are experts in the design and manufacture of bespoke robotic automation systems for the laboratory, industrial and medical industries. Sean Devereux, Project Manager, himself an alumni of Stokesley School, kindly invited the students to visit to experience, first-hand, the realities of working in an engineering and design business.

The fourteen students, aged 11 to 16, all have an avid interest in engineering and STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), so were in their element seeing all the innovation and hi-tech robotic design that surrounded them at the Labman site.

Sean and his colleague Matt Smith, an apprentice in software development, presented the company with a personalised and interactive approach, demonstrating how the highly-specialised and technical robotics work with precision and accuracy across a diverse range of applications. The students were in awe of the level of detail that goes into the product development process and the many steps involved between initial concept and prototype, through to final manufacture and installation.

As well as being fascinated by the company’s engineering expertise, the students enthused about the working conditions at Labman. Matt and Sean explained the various routes for employment, from apprenticeships to university entrants, and the students couldn’t fail to notice the squash court, climbing wall, table-tennis and kicker-football tables, as well as a piano and the occasional fireman’s pole dotted among the workstations and development areas of the open-plan workspace. It was the mix of exciting and interesting projects coupled with a great working environment that impressed the students. A Year 10 student said: “ I’d love to work at Labman”, a sentiment echoed by several other students on the visit who could see that as well as being interesting and challenging, working in engineering could be great fun.

Janine Harrison-Henry, Careers Leader at Stokesley School, commented: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students, visiting a company that not only leads in innovation in their field but demonstrates fabulous employee engagement and corporate social responsibility. Labman are great supporters of Stokesley School, offering work experience and regularly contributing to our careers’ events. We look forward to more of our students starting a career with Labman.”

The students were inspired by Andrew Whitwell, Labman’s Managing Director, who spent time explaining the key attributes, such as good communication skills, that will help them succeed in their working lives. He captivated the students with an entertaining presentation. His passion for engineering and the wellbeing of his staff was infectious, leaving a lasting impression on many of the students, who agreed that Labman was the type of company they would like to work for.

Sean concluded: “It was a pleasure to host the visit for Stokesley School and we hope the students left knowing that a career in specialist engineering and technology is on their doorstep. We hope we’ll see some of them returning to Labman for work experience in the future.”

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