STAFF from a drugs giant are teaming up with local schools to sign up pupils for a 10-week Industrial Cadets scheme.

Seven staff from Glaxo Smith Kline’s antibiotics manufacturing plant at Ulverston are mentoring pupils from Ulverston Victoria High School, Dowdales School at Dalton and Cartmel Priory High School.

More than 40 pupils, teachers and mentors got together at an event at GSK to launch the initiative, which is under the umbrella of Industrial Cadets.

The national programme, inspired by an idea by HRH The Prince of Wales, aims to give young people experience of industry.

GSK engineering team manager Mark Burns said: “The project dovetails neatly with GSK’s company mission of enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

“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.”

During the ‘get to know you’ launch event, groups took on a short project to learn more about skills sets needed, team work, project management and reporting, which will all be used during the 10-week scheme.

Each team be tackling the theme 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.

Mr Burns 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.