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Ocado Engineering joins Year of Engineering campaign

Ocado Engineering joins Year of Engineering campaign

On November 16th, the Allenby Primary School in Ealing, London welcomed leading engineering companies from the UK and prominent HM Government representatives to celebrate the announcement of the Year of Engineering, an exciting campaign which aims to give young people direct and inspiring experiences of the world of engineering throughout 2018. The launch event was coordinated by Education and Employers, a charity connecting young people to employers through the Inspiring the Future programme.

The Year of Engineering campaign aims to challenge the outdated perceptions of the engineering profession, get more young people to consider a career in engineering, and feel excited about the various opportunities and career paths available.

Opening the launch event was Daniel Bishop, head teacher at Allenby, who invited students to join a guessing game similar to What’s My Line. Mr Bishop then welcomed five engineers on stage who were questioned by the assembly of students in order to determine their occupations and fields of work.

Year of Engineering campaign launch at Allenby Primary School

Allenby students trying to guess what the guest engineers do for a living

After the guests revealed their jobs and talked about what motivated them to become engineers, John Hayes CBE MP, Minister of State at the Department for Transport, gave a motivating speech about the merits of the engineering profession and the exciting possibilities ahead.

 Minister of State at the Department for Transport John Hayes MP speaking in front of the assembly

Minister of State at the Department for Transport John Hayes MP speaking in front of the assembly

The event concluded with a series of presentations from volunteers who got a chance to show the young students what a career in engineering looks like. Representing Ocado Engineering was Miguel Xavier, head of Engineering Operations, who demonstrated that a career in engineering at Ocado is an opportunity to work on a range of amazing solutions such as our robot-powered warehouses.

Miguel giving students a glimpse of what Ocado engineers work on

Miguel giving students a glimpse of what Ocado engineers work on

For example, our Engineering Operations department opens the way to a vast array of exciting jobs, from trainee or shift technician to controls engineer. The key message from Miguel was “engineering at Ocado is always fun: you get to play with robots and work with great people!”

The Engineering Operations team testing our new robots in our highly automated warehouses

The Engineering Operations team testing our new robots in our highly automated warehouses

Ocado is extremely proud of our engineering heritage. Ocado Engineering has recently expanded in new areas, helping the company solve some of the unique challenges of using automation for online grocery. But as we have looked to grow our engineering teams in fields such as product design or control engineering, we have experienced first-hand the shortfall of qualified engineers and skilled technicians, and a lack of diversity in the general workforce, which has prompted us to act.

We are therefore very excited to join the Year of Engineering campaign. Tackling the skills gap and encouraging more young people to enter the profession is a vital part of ensuring the sustainability of our growth, and is increasingly important with the new technologies and landmark projects we embark on such as building the world’s largest automated warehouse for online grocery.

For more details on how to get involved in the Year of Engineering campaign, please visit the official website.

Alex Voica, Head of Technology Communications

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