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Swisslog backs UK engineering students

01 September 2014

The future of UK engineering is incredibly bright, according to Swisslog’s head of customer service, Steve Thorp.

Steve is in his fifth year as a supporter of the charity, the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), this year acting as a regional judge for the Year in Industry ‘Contribution to Business’ awards.

The Year in Industry (YINI), a working gap year, is designed to give students experience of working in a commercial environment. The students are then judged on their work, with national finalists gathering at The Royal Academy of Engineering, where those that develop solutions to challenging real-life processes are rewarded.

"The YINI Contribution to Business Award is a great opportunity for students to showcase their achievements,” says Steve. "Through a short presentation, they’re able to demonstrate the difference they have made to a hosting company; be it financial savings, more efficient work practices, environmental enterprise,  or improved customer relations.”

"The standard is usually incredibly high, with this year seeing a number of initiatives that seasoned professionals would be very proud of. It’s clear that the drive and passion for engineering excellence in the UK remains very high, and it is a great initiative to be a part of.”

Typically, the winning students develop new techniques to reduce production bottlenecks, or develop innovative ways to improve issues at participating companies such as BAE Systems, Procter & Gamble, Rolls-Royce and Siemens.

Intralogistics automation specialists, Swisslog prides itself on taking an active role in improving the communities in which it operates and to that end, supports a number of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities across the globe.

"Our CSR work is incredibly important to us,” says Steve. "The benefits related to risk management, cost savings, customer relationships, human resources, and innovation cannot be underestimated. With my own involvement in EDT, it brings the added dimension of being something we are both passionate about as an organisation, and committed to personally.”

Swisslog designs, develops and delivers efficient automation solutions for forward-thinking warehouses and distribution centres.

"We work in partnership with our customers to develop tailored solutions,” concludes Steve. "So the parallels with our own business are great - particularly as we operate in a very collaborative way to deliver what our customers need. The YINI scheme and the Contribution to Business award promotes best practice - to work and deliver value to customers, an ethos that breeds dedication.”