Scottish Enterprise supports manufacturing challenge in schools

A new enterprise initiative has launched to give Fife primary school pupils a taste of manufacturing.

The Enterprise Manufacturing Challenge will see teams of P7 pupils from 25 schools across Fife compete to manufacture and sell products to local business people. The teams will adopt company roles such as designer, quality control manager and finance director in order to fulfill the challenge tasks.

The project is organised by Fife Council’s Economic Development division through the Culture of Enterprise initiative and was devised working closely with Scottish Enterprise’s Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) and local training company Tree of Knowledge. It is the first in Scotland to have such a manufacturing focus.

Chris Parr, chair of the Fife Economy Partnership, welcomed the challenge. “Manufacturing in Fife is still the area's largest single sector, employing around 13,000 people. Companies are doing well despite the economic climate and in fact many of Fife's manufacturing companies are at the leading edge and investing heavily in R&D, skills and new plant and technology. They are always keen to talk to young people to say we offer a great career opportunity.”

Cllr Kay Carrington, executive member for Fife Council’s Business, Enterprise, Economy & Planning, said, “I’m delighted that the local business community is supporting the schools’ Manufacturing Challenge. The Culture of Enterprise framework aims to help young people find out about business and enterprise and an event like this brings them together with some of the most innovative companies in Fife, which are standard bearers for how successful the manufacturing sector is for the local economy.”

There are approximately 200 manufacturing and engineering businesses in Fife, SMAS has been building a relationship and supporting a significant number of these business over the past 7 years.”

Jerome Finlayson, Scottish Enterprise’s Regional Lead Practitioner at SMAS said, Manufacturing is central to Fife and Scotland’s economic growth. Over the last 10 years we’ve seen a big shift to high value manufacturing. Manufacturers need to ensure we have the right people and skills in place to deliver it.

“This initiative is a great way of encouraging more young people to consider manufacturing as a career opportunity, giving them an insight into the types of jobs and products that companies have to offer.”

The Enterprise Manufacturing Challenge is another stage in encouraging enterprise amongst youngsters as the schools have all been playing the Fife School’s Enterprise Game, launched 18 months ago, to learn about the local economy and many of the key manufacturing companies.

The challenge launches on Monday 21st January for five days in the Rothes Halls. Each day a prominent local business person will come along to play the role of buyer and be available to offer expert advice to the enterprising school companies.

Notes to editors

About Fife Council’s Culture of Enterprise Programme

Fife Council, Enterprise, Planning and Protective Services on behalf of the Fife Economy Partnership (FEP), launched its Culture of Enterprise Framework in May 2009. The Culture of Enterprise (CoE) Framework provides a blueprint for creating a vibrant enterprise culture in Fife. To develop this culture requires the early engagement of young people, and as part of this co-ordinated action, Fife Council, Enterprise, Planning and Protective Services has been engaging with schools and businesses to embed an enterprising culture across the area.

Contact Information

Julia McLaren

Engagement Partner

Scottish Enterprise

0300 013 3223

07801 794046