CDP pioneers new work experience scheme for students

Cambridge Design Partnership has become part of a progressive new trend to accredit its year in industry students through a national work experience initiative backed by Prince Charles.

CDP is employing three students as part of the Industrial Cadets scheme. The programme is aimed at encouraging young people into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) jobs and its patron is Prince Charles.

“Prince Charles is backing the scheme, which is designed to be similar to the Duke of Edinburgh Award but based on acquiring job skills in industry,” explains CDP senior mechanical engineer Paul Scott, who is acting as a mentor to one of the students.

“We are delighted to welcome three gap year students to work with us for a year here at CDP as Industrial Cadets. It’s a great opportunity to support and develop young people at the start of their technical careers.”

Among the students is Charles Griffiths, aged 19, from Guildford who is on a gap year before going on to study Mechanical Engineering at Bristol University. “I joined CDP full-time as an Industrial Cadet last September,” he explains. “I feel sure I will get more out of my university course for having had the chance to work in industry first.”

“I have been working on a wide range of designs for healthcare products, including a novel project to improve the diabetic injection process. My work has included creating 3D silicon moulds of designs, computer modelling and testing. It’s very hands on.

“The three of us Industrial Cadets students are all sharing a house and we are paid a salary as part of our temporary contract. It’s been an excellent experience so far and I have learned a lot.”

Paul Scott is Charles’ mentor and explains: “This Industrial Cadets programme allows students to be structured in what they learn in their time with us, with regular mentoring and appraisals. It will help counter the shortage of STEM educated graduates in the UK and here at CDP we are delighted to support such a positive, constructive scheme.”

The Industrial Cadets scheme offers site visits, educational trips and work experience to students at school and college. As well as the backing of Prince Charles, it is also supported by British astronaut Tim Peake who says: “It’s great to see so many young people from across the nation take part in STEM and work-related experiences, developing skills and improving their careers awareness.”

Prince Charles agreed to become Patron of the Industrial Cadets scheme in July 2018. Julie Feest of Industrial Cadets says: “His Royal Highness’s agreement to become Patron of Industrial Cadets is an enormous honour for the programme, which informs young people about careers with great prospects and rewards and encourages them to develop the skills and qualifications which will be needed by UK industry in a time of rapid technological change.”