Shipbuilding came to life for pupils who were given a tour of BAE Systems’ Portsmouth facility.
The group of 14 youngsters from Crookhorn College of Technology enjoyed a close inspection of some of the country’s most exciting maritime projects – including the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier, which is being built.
Boys and girls also had the chance to meet apprentices and graduates and hear about the career opportunities on offer at the arms giant.
Jack Gibbs, 13, said: ‘I enjoyed seeing how big the aircraft carrier was as I wasn’t expecting it to be that big.
‘I also enjoyed seeing the hull and how it’s all put together.
‘It makes me want to get a job in engineering.’
Amos Mukombero, 14, said: ‘I wasn’t really interested in apprenticeships before but the visit has made me think about it.’
Tom Ryan, 13, said: ‘My favourite bit of the visit was when we went to the workshops to see how everything is made.
‘I was thinking about taking up an apprenticeship to learn how to do things and also get paid and this has reassured me.’
The day trip was organised as part of National Science and Engineering Week – a 10-day programme of science, engineering and technology events which aims to engage and inspire people of all ages.
As the UK’s largest employer of skilled engineers, BAE Systems is committed to encouraging young people to take a greater interest in science, technology, engineering and maths to counter the decline in those choosing engineering as a career.
Andrew Dix, engineering development advisor at BAE Systems’ Surface Ships division, said: ‘By reaching out to school pupils we can show them the opportunities which exist within engineering and more importantly, the opportunities which exist in their local communities.
‘It is vital that we retain and grow the right skills set for the future and by engaging with pupils, we hope to inspire the next generation of engineers who will help keep us at the forefront of the industry.’