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Evolution BEST at PPMA Awards 2018

on Tue, 02/10/2018 - 11:50

Evolution were delighted to recieve an Award in the PPMA BEST Category at the recent PPMA Awards held on 25th September.

The Award recognises the work that Evolution are doing with their local Schools to promote STEM subjects to young people as a vital part of their education.

Evolution, and the packaging sector overall, rely heavily on technical talent not only in their engineering roles, but in all aspects of the business from Sales, Marketing, Customer Service to Engineering itself.  Recognising the importance of STEM based education Evolution have been working hard to support  Peebles High School (PHS) in fostering young engineering talent.

Evolution are proud of their community involvement and in particular want to continue and expand to bring further employment to their local community.  In the last two years the business has doubled its headcount, however in doing so has experienced first hand the impact of a general lack of technical knowledge and the difficulties in securing engineering / technical talent in their own specific sector.

This led to the recognition that the best way to generate Engineers with the correct specific skill set was to develop this in house and as such Evolution employed their first Apprentice in 2017. A year into his training this young man is already making a positive contribution to the business .

The experience of seeking a suitable Apprentice led to the further recognition that sourcing the correct skills and fostering engineering talent needs to start even earlier and Evolution consequently began discussions with Peebles High School as to how they could form links to work together for the benefit of the Schools pupils and provide support and context to their STEM education.  Evolution Bottling and Packaging Solutions are keen to inspire young people to include Science and Technology subjects in their education. Evolution introduced PHS to the Arkwright Scholarship scheme with impressive results in their first year of participating : 3 out of the four students entered reached advanced stages, and in particular one student reached interview stage, a commendable achievement particularly in the School’s first year of involvement.

Inspired by the promotion of STEM Days by trade association charity PPMA Best,  Evolution have continued to work with Peebles High and in February 2018, in partnership with provider The Education Development Trust and Trade Association PPMA, Evolution facilitated an exciting day of hands on STEM activities to Peebles High School Pupils.  STEM activity days are designed to engage pupils in hands on challenges that demonstrate the interaction between Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths disciplines in real life and workplace scenarios. 

With the backing of PPMA Best,  Evolution were able to bring Peebles High School an Education Development Trust STEM day which was delivered to around 220 S3 pupils who were at the critical stage of considering their subject options. The Education Development Trust bring a range of Engineering based education to schools throughout the UK and are endorsed by the Industrial Cadets Accreditation Scheme.  All the pupils involved in the S3 STEM day gained the Industrial Cadets Challenger Award. 

Peebles High School Depute Headteacher Ross McLaren : “STEM days are really important in schools to allow the young people to develop an ambition within the STEM industry. This has been a fantastic event for our Young People, engaging in high quality tasks and we hope to continue to work with Evolution and PPMA to provide similar events in the future.”

Talking of why Evolution wanted to bring this opportunity to Peebles High School, Marketing Manager Susan Brown : “Our business depends heavily on various aspects of engineering – mechanical, electrical, electronic, design. There is a definite skills shortage in these areas and this creates a real opportunity for young people when considering future careers. We want to support our local young people understand the sorts of activities that depend on engineering and technical subjects and hopefully inspire some to pursue these in their future education –knowledge of technical and science subjects are a great asset to many careers.”

Together Evolution, Peebles High School and PPMA Best want to continue to build on this success and ensure that future generations of students continue to benefit from this injection of STEM investment into the pupils education, as such Evolution will be continuing to act as the facilitator for future STEM days to S3 pupils, hopefully encouraging more students to stay with STEM disciplines at the point of subject selection.

In addition, with the support of PPMA Best, Evolution will be mentoring Peebles High School Pupils as they enter their first team in the 2018/19 Engineering Education Scheme.  This scheme sees a team of 4-6 S5/S6 pupils undertake a six month programme working as a team to complete a project which involves addressing a real industry problem presented by the industry mentor. 

Evolution are a progressive business who are keen to encourage the development a growth of future generations of engineers and technicians both generally and specifically within the packaging sector.