Chamber, steel, Young Chamber, Dorset, REIDsteel, Dorset Chamber, construction, education, schools, apprenticeships, business, BTEC, Christchurch

John Reid & Sons Ltd (REIDsteel) has continued its support for Twynham School and The Grange School through its renewed sponsorship of the Young Chamber programme.

Both of the Christchurch schools were among the first members to join the Dorset Chamber initiative and have now been able to sign up for a second year.

Managing Director Simon Boyd said: “It is no secret that the engineering sector is currently facing a skills shortage.

“As a growing business with UK and worldwide projects to deliver, it is imperative that we engage with the next generation of potential engineers, draughtspeople and skilled steel and sheet metal workers, as well as those who will be involved with the managerial and administrative aspects of our organisation.

“Young Chamber is one of the programmes we are working with to address this, now.

“Both The Grange and Twynham schools have a great ethos and we are delighted to be supporting them through the Young Chamber for a second year.”

REIDsteel is an award-winning specialist structural steel engineering and cladding company with a UK and worldwide reputation for excellence in the custom design, engineering, fabrication and erection of a wide variety of steel structures.

The Grange School’s emphasis on vocational studies earned it the BTEC School of the Year Award in 2017, presented by The Rt Hon the Baroness Garden of Frognal MP at The Houses of Parliament.

Twynham School achieved Outstanding across all categories in its last Ofsted Report and is in the top four per cent of schools in this category.

Rob Palmer, Assistant Headteacher at Twynham School is responsible for Vocational Education across the Twynham Learning Federation including The Grange School.

He said: “We are very fortunate to have the support of many local businesses through the vocational courses we offer our students, and membership of Young Chamber enhances and adds to this through engagement with Dorset Chamber members from a wide variety of sectors, both for students and staff.

“We are grateful to REIDsteel for their continued support of this initiative and look forward to working closely with them to promote opportunities to our students as well.”

Dorset Chamber’s dedicated Young Chamber Coordinator facilitates activity on behalf of schools, including recruiting speakers from the business sector on a wide variety of subjects from inspirational talks to career specific  subject related expertise; contacting businesses to support careers fairs and mock interviews; helping with work experience placements and recruiting governors.

Young Chamber is an additional resource for careers staff in schools, with the ability to talk directly to 700+ businesses on their behalf, something which has proved very powerful.

Ian Girling, Chief Executive Officer at Dorset Chamber, said: “Dorset is home to some fantastic, world class and leading engineering organisations such as REIDsteel and Dorset Chamber fully supports the drive to inspire young people into this fascinating sector.

“It is great that REIDsteel has taken this a step further to engage directly with schools and young people in Christchurch through Young Chamber sponsorship.”

The programme operates independently of public sector funding and schools become members through annual sponsorship by a business.

There are currently thirteen Young Chamber schools in Dorset, with several others actively seeking business sponsors.

REIDsteel has the capability to design, manufacture, ship and erect entire steel buildings including their cladding and or glazing requirements anywhere in the UK, Europe and the world. The 130-strong company has exported to 140 countries to date in nearly a century of trading.