Pupils flying high

Connor McWhirter and Matthew Ennis, students at Belfast High School with Stephen Collins from B/E Aerospace and DJ Connor Phillips during their visit to the Kilkeel factory. INNT 15-604con
Connor McWhirter and Matthew Ennis, students at Belfast High School with Stephen Collins from B/E Aerospace and DJ Connor Phillips during their visit to the Kilkeel factory. INNT 15-604con
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High flying students from Belfast High School have been getting a taste of the world of work with a careers day at B/E Aerospace, the Kilkeel-based manufacturer of seating for the global aviation industry.

Working with Business in the Community’s ‘Inspire to Aspire’ programme, B/E Aerospace invited schools from across Northern Ireland to check out the multitude of careers options available at its Kilkeel plant where some 750 employees manufacture seating for virtually every major airline in the world.

Radio presenter Connor Phillips was on hand to bring his own brand of fun and energy to a day which was planned and managed by eight student interns currently on one year placements with B/E Aerospace.

Pupils and teachers left classroom life and formality behind them as they toured the busy plant and enjoyed a day in the life of the company, sharing questions and banter with employees in diverse roles right across the company.

Inspired by the careers opportunities for people with an aptitude for the science, technology, maths and engineering (STEM) subjects, the students and their teachers competed in a practical challenge to design a gadget which would prevent an egg from breaking when dropped from a height.

Rounding off the day, an entertaining and informative session, chaired by Connor, put employees ‘in the firing line’ for questions posed by students.

Yvonne Mallon, human resources director at B/E Aerospace, was impressed with the interest and insight from the students.

She said: “We set out to inspire students about the diverse and rewarding careers which STEM subjects could open up for them, but we found that the students were inspiring us too.

“We were all caught up in their infectious enthusiasm and really enjoyed the energy they brought into the plant.

“The programme and tour devised by our highly talented and focused Interns really hit the mark with the visiting students and teachers and prompted huge interest.

“Ours is a constantly growing company and we have some excellent employment opportunities with an attractive package of benefits and impressive opportunities for career development including international travel.

“We hope that some of the young people who saw visited us may at some future stage be back at B/E Aerospace may one day return as employees.”