GLOUCESTERSHIRE — More than 40 school students have enjoyed a week's work experience at the Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire headquarters of metrology company Renishaw. Students learned about the business and undertook their own research and development project to design a new measurement system.

The 42 students came from 13 different schools across England and Wales, with one student traveling from Illinois in the United States to attend the week of hands-on work experience, the first such week Renishaw has organized.

Julie Collins, Renishaw's education liaison manager, said, “Each year we give one-week work experience placements to around 70 students. Whilst this has generally worked well, we decided this year to run a pilot scheme which was more project-based and which we felt would give students experience of working in teams to tackle realistic engineering challenges.”

Throughout the week, the students, aged between 14 and 17, worked in groups of six to investigate, create and develop a working prototype model of a measuring machine which could operate without the need for compressed air. Each student had an important role to play within their group, from marketing and design, to production, purchasing and project management, with the overall objective of the project being to simulate working in a research and development team at Renishaw.

Group Engineering Director Geoff McFarland said, “The week of work experience was hugely successful. The students seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time at Renishaw, and we were delighted to have so many enthusiastic potential engineers at our New Mills headquarters. Many people have memories of work experiences spent making cups of tea, but we wanted to give the students a hands-on, real-life experience that they would face if they worked at Renishaw, and I think we achieved that.”

Feedback from the students was very positive, with one pupil from Katharine Lady Berkeley's School in Wotton-under-Edge saying, “The Renishaw work experience was great. Being my first work experience week, I had no idea what to expect, but Renishaw left a good impression.”

Another student, from Queen Elizabeth's Hospital School, Bristol, noted, “It was really good to see how the process works and much more hands on than other work experience I've done”, whilst a final year student from Thomas Keble School, Stroud, said, “It was a really good work experience because it was hands on and gave a really good insight to a job at Renishaw and in the engineering industry."

For more information, visit