Young engineer from Whitchurch returns to school to inspire the next generation
A young engineer who helped support the NHS during the early stages of the pandemic is looking to inspire the next generation to choose a career in industry.
Luke Thomas, who is keen to study an accredited management degree alongside his role at the Needham Group in Whitchurch, was awarded the prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarship in 2019 and used the business and mentoring support available to take his first steps. in a career. in engineering.
The 18-year-old is now looking to use his experience and passion for ‘doing things’ to inspire students at his old school, recently finishing a lecture in front of grade 11 students at Meole Brace School in Shrewsbury.
He gave the simple message that “you can change the world with engineering” and the vast opportunities for young people to work on the latest technology and develop skills that could take you all over the world.
Luke Thomas recently gave a talk to grade 11 students at Meole Brace School in Shrewsbury. Image courtesy of Needham Group.
“The Arkwright Engineering Scholarship was a huge boost to my early years of study and career, giving me financial support to help me complete my A-Levels and also access to contacts and valuable networks that have so much experience to offer, ”said Luke, who is currently studying for his private pilot license.
“The scholarship has really encouraged me to pursue a career in engineering and I wanted to pass this message on to my peers in the hope that they will see the benefits of such a prestigious scholarship.”
He continued, “I’ve been with Needham Group for six months, going from a trainee laser technician to a junior project engineer and I love every minute of working in the different divisions to give myself a taste of everything. areas of the business so that I can decide which area to specialize in.
The relationship with Needham Group began over the summer when Luke bought his own laser cutting machine to help him make over 2,000 ‘S-clips’ which he donated to the NHS.
He contacted General Manager Aled Ellis with a technical question and, after an initial breakdown in communication, was invited to the company headquarters on Waymills Industrial Estate to meet the team, take a tour of the facility and explore the technology available more in depth.
It was a meeting that turned into a job offer, with the company impressed by its self-taught knowledge of lasers and its passion for learning new things.
Aled Ellis, Managing Director of Needham Group, added: “We are growing rapidly in our specialized coding, ink and laser technology businesses and plan to hire 30 new employees over the next three years.
“At the heart of it all, there will be a real focus on developing the engineers and professionals of the future and Luke is our first commitment in this regard. He blew us away when we met him and it was an easy decision to offer him a job, a decision we are delighted to see the immediate impact he has had.
“His Certified Management degree is expected to begin shortly and throughout this time we will ensure he has the support of our technical staff so that he can further develop his skills. Bringing more young people into manufacturing and, above all, into our engineering disciplines, is a top priority for us. “
Luke concluded, “I have learned so much in such a short time and I already have Aled’s work in mind.
Needham Group has launched an expansion plan that will more than triple its revenues by 2025.
Founded by Roger Needham in 1962, the company seeks to achieve this goal by stimulating export activity in its three divisions, increasing investment in marketing, expanding distribution networks and developing the capacity to support more personalized projects.