Next Gen Makers: Inspiring the next generation online

Innovate UK Edge

Careers in engineering and manufacturing

The West Midlands is facing an alarming shortage of something: young engineers. Next Gen Makers was created to solve the problem: work with the next generation to inspire them, with the help of engineering and manufacturing firms.

Prior to the pandemic, this SME was delivering essential support within their area, organising workshops and factory visits for local secondary school and college students to experience these industries at work. This helped them to see a potential future career while giving them the necessary skillset through work experience to pursue a job in this sector.

When lockdown was announced in spring 2020, all physical teaching went virtual, and the face-to-face support that this business had relied upon to deliver its services ceased. To ensure that their business could keep providing this essential support to aspiring students, entrepreneur Adam Tipper pivoted to an online business model.

Engineering and manufacturing firms in the area are often a crucial part of a supply chain for many sectors, including aerospace, automotive, and built environment areas. This puts it as one of the key areas to spur on Industry 4.0. These industries are a significant wealth creator for the UK economy, with almost 25% of UK turnover coming from engineering and manufacturing.

It is therefore essential for the next generation to step into jobs within these areas. Next Gen Makers spreads awareness of possible career options in these sectors for children who may not otherwise realise they exist or even think there is a possibility for them to pursue them. The company does this with innovation at the heart of all it does, going fully remote from the start of the pandemic so children and students are not missing out on any opportunities that could shape their future.

Taking up Business Innovation Support

With the launch of Innovate UK Edge on the 6th January 2021, it puts innovation, growth and scaling at the centre of the support offered. Next Gen Makers signed up in the first few weeks of the launch, and they will work with Innovation and Growth Specialist Jenny Rohde to come up with a strong business development strategy for sustained growth.

Adam Tipper (pictured), Managing Director of Next Gen Makers, said “Taking an agile approach to pivoting our business model in response to our customers' changing circumstances had led us to a deeper understanding of the needs of both educators and manufacturers. We responded quickly to these opportunities and will be launching two exciting new platforms in the first part of this year which have the potential to enable us to scale the business.

“This opportunity to have an Innovation Growth Advisor from Innovate UK Edge work alongside us has arrived at the perfect time. We are looking forward to leaning on Jenny Rohde and the Innovate UK Edge team for lots of support and advice over the coming months.”

Every business does well to step back and review their progress, mapping out the road forward and assessing how to get there. Bringing a deep general understanding and experience of business operations, the support of an Innovation and Growth specialist will provide bespoke help to any innovative SME with the potential to grow, from signposting potential steps forward in their business strategy to connecting them to global partners and other support organisations across the country.

To find out more about the new Innovate UK Edge programme, visit the recently published website here, or if you would like to get in touch to discuss what we can do for you, contact the Innovate UK Edge team based at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce on 0121 455 0268.