Penny Hydraulics’ recent £2m facelift was unveiled to technology students from Shirebrook Academy recently as part of the Made in Chesterfield festival.
In a bid to recruit future engineers to the Clowne-based manufacturer of lifting equipment, the doors to the company’s recently extended site were opened to 30 Year 11 students from the school.
John Penny, MD and Owner of Penny Hydraulics who led the students’ tour of the site, said: “Apprentices are the future of our industry. Employers such as myself rely on celebrations such as Made in Chesterfield to encourage young people to take an interest in the sector.”
“Too many students see university as the only route to success. It is events like Made in Chesterfield that allow us to educate young people about the brilliant alternatives to A levels.”
Since founding the company in 1978, Penny Hydraulics has grown significantly. It originally manufactured pit props for the local mining industry but has since diversified, now manufacturing cranes, goods lifts and lifting equipment for the nuclear decommissioning industry. The company now exports to 23 different countries worldwide and employs 85 people.
Shirebrook Academy student Annalise Cooper, who took part in tour, said: “I’d always had my heart set on law, but then I started going to open days and saw all of the facilities now available, especially at West Notts. and Penny Hydraulics.
“I study resistant materials at school and really love both the theory and practical side of the lesson. Today has opened my mind. I have seen all the things that can be done here, and the different roles people have. I am now definitely considering a career in engineering.”
Organised by Destination Chesterfield and Derbyshire Education Business Partnership, the month-long Made in Chesterfield festival in November is designed to show young people and their teachers the modern face of manufacturing and engineering and the many careers and job roles on offer within the sector locally.
Sponsored by the University of Derby and MSE Hiller, more manufacturing and engineering businesses, training providers and visitor attractions are involved in this year’s Made in Chesterfield than ever before. As well as Penny Hydraulics, modern-day gift maker Urban Flamingo, Paul Mossman Pottery, Brampton Brewery, NLT, Techman Engineering and MSE Hiller were amongst more than 20 businesses and training providers that have provided tours, talks and competitions during Made in Chesterfield to nearly 350 Year 6 to 13 school children.
John Penny added: “We do a lot of things with local schools and universities as we want to attract people to work for our business. Recruiting the next generation of engineers to Penny Hydraulics is very important to us and we’ve been addressing recruitment issues for the last five years working closely with NLT and AMRC.”