At a time when the national and global focus is on opportunities for young people during the Coronavirus pandemic, a pioneering UK engineering and project management consultancy has underlined its commitment to investing in the future.
Cumbria-based REACT Engineering Ltd
, which is renowned for developing young talent, has recruited six new team members, five of whom are aged 18 to 24.
REACT, which designs and creates innovative technological solutions for a range of industries from its base in Cumbria, now has its largest-ever workforce with 42 employees.
Managing director Phil Redfern said the company proactively recruits young people because they have the potential to look at problems with a fresh perspective and fresh thinking.
He said: “We operate by encouraging smart thinking and a solution-based approach to complex issues in industry. Our mantra is that we provide ‘smart answers to difficult problems’.
“We are able to innovate, to be agile, and to provide effective and efficient solutions to problems in a range of sectors because we nurture our people, often young people, and encourage them to take responsibility from an early stage in their careers. That allows them to create some seriously clever stuff.”
New recruit Tom Wright, 24, from Egremont, has joined as a graduate engineer and is excited by the potential opportunities at REACT. He said: “REACT is known as an employer which supports and nurtures young talent and I feel so lucky to be part of the team. I can’t wait to take advantage of the opportunity I have been given.
“It was great to see five of us, all around the same age and all from West Cumbria, starting at REACT at the same time.”
Another new team member, Charlotte Nann, 18, from Workington, was keen to pursue a vocational qualification after A-levels and found the perfect fit as a Project Management Apprentice at REACT. She said: “I wanted to study and work in West Cumbria and REACT’s apprenticeship programme was a great fit. I can work towards my degree and get on-the-job experience at the same time.”
In 2019, Miss Nann took part in REACT’s ‘Into Engineering’ initiative, a week-long seminar for local Year 12 students which gives them an introduction to life as a professional engineer.
She said: “We were set practical tasks which we might encounter as a real-life engineer and had to find solutions for them. It gave me a real idea of what life would be like as an engineer.”
Kevin Lewins, 36, who has joined REACT as a senior project manager, said he was looking forward to helping develop and support new young talent as part of his role. He said: “It is really rewarding to be able to support people at the start of their careers and see them develop.”