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Briar Chemicals hosted a visit from a group of students at the University of East Anglia (UEA) to learn more about the career opportunities within a manufacturing company.

The UEA held its Annual Engineering Summer School in July 2016. A total of 23 sixth form students, who had expressed an interest in a career in engineering, were treated to a range of activities and site visits.

As part of the summer programme, eight of the students were invited to visit Briar Chemicals in Norwich for a tour of the site and chat about career opportunities available.

Lawrence Coates, Professor of Engineering at the UEA School of Mathematics, Faculty of Science said:

“These visits are an essential element of the taster course. Less than 10% of their working lives are spent as students therefore exposure to what the job can entail is crucial. We are very grateful for the support of Briar Chemicals”

On arrival, the group were immediately impressed by the security and health and safety measures in place before being allowed to go on the site.

The students were shown around the sample and testing laboratory and its chromatography equipment, the production plants and the 4.4MW combined heat and power unit that provides both heat and electricity to the site. Environmental controls such as collecting and testing rainwater run-off on site and passing through the effluent treatment plant were also explained.

Briar Chemicals Norwich Site
Briar Chemicals regularly hosts visits from local schools, colleges and the University

After the tour, they learnt more about the company and the variety of career prospects available within the industry. Haydn Dalton, Technical Specialist at Briar Chemicals was asked what advice he would give to the students early in their careers, to which he replied “take a year in the industry as part of your course”.

On their return to the University campus the group gave a presentation to the rest of the students to help them gain from their experience. Every member contributed and it was clear that they had learned a lot from their short visit to Briar Chemicals.

Sarah Piercy, PR Coordinator at Briar Chemicals and organiser of the visits said: We thoroughly enjoy working with the University, supporting and offering advice to students interested in engineering and chemistry.

Briar Chemicals currently has two apprentices working within the maintenance department, along with a work placement student from Loughborough University working alongside the engineering team until summer 2017.