Health and safety ‘excuse’ blocks career prospects

Posted on 04 Jul 2019 and read 539 times
Health and safety ‘excuse’ blocks career prospectsAccording to A1 Flue Systems (, school-leavers are not being given the opportunity to consider a career in manufacturing, because schools and colleges are using health and safety as an excuse to turn down visits to factories.

That is the finding of the UK market leader in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of commercial and industrial chimney, flue and exhaust systems, after it had repeated invitations turned down by schools and colleges near its factory in North Nottinghamshire.

The company made the offer so that young people who are about to complete their GCSEs or BTECs could see for themselves what a busy manufacturing hub looks like, and see all the processes that go into turning sheets of stainless steel into chimney flue systems (these are installed in hotels, offices and football stadiums, as well as high-profile projects such as Battersea Power Station).

TJ Duncan-Moir, a director of the 140-employee family business, says the invitations are routinely turned down on the grounds of the risks posed to young people, even though they will be on a supervised tour of its factory.

Mrs Duncan-Moir believes that young people need to be exposed to a wide variety of career pathways. In addition to manufacturing, A1’s business involves disciplines such as engineering, estimating, logistics and installation, as well as sales, accounts and maintenance.

“Every time our offers are turned down, it feels like health and safety concerns are being used as an excuse, when a visit to our factory poses no more risk than other visits that schools routinely run, such as trips to museums, events or even skiing destinations.”

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