Employees from GSK’s antibiotics manufacturing site at Ulverston and pupils from three local schools have embarked on a 10-week Industrial Cadets programme aimed at giving young people experience of industry.

Seven members of staff from GSK will act as mentors working with teams of pupils from Ulverston Victoria High School, Dowdales School at Dalton and Cartmel Priory C of E High School.

More than 40 pupils, teachers and mentors got together at an event on the GSK site to launch the initiative, which is under the umbrella of Industrial Cadets, a national programme inspired by an idea by HRH The Prince of Wales.

The launch was a ‘get to know you’ session combined with a short project to familiarise the teams with the skills sets, team work and approach to project management and reporting they will need to adopt for their 10-week collaboration.

The task each team will have to tackle is entitled Your Healthy School, in which they will be asked to think about their school environment and how to make it a healthier place for everyone – pupils, teachers, support staff and visitors.

“The project dovetails neatly with GSK’s company mission of enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer,” explained Mark Burns, an Engineering Team Manager at GSK.

“Teams will be prompted to consider a wide range of things which contribute to making schools as healthy as possible for all who use them, such as the nutrition of school meals and snacks; physical exercise while on school premises; how people travel to and from school; features of buildings etc.”

Mark said the teams would be encouraged to break their projects into phases, including research, improvement ideas generation and development and report writing and presentation.

Identifying and exploiting the strengths of individuals in the team would also be a key aspect, with tasks being assigned to sub teams to complete the project and to prepare a presentation for a judging panel.

The Industrial Cadets experience culminates with each team producing a written project report and giving a five-minute presentation to a panel of assessors at a celebration and assessment day.