Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Task Group minutes: 21 September 2023

Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Task Group minutes: 21 September 2023

Meeting details

Minutes of Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing Task Group

ON: Thursday 21st September 2023, 10:30-12:00

Location: Online

Attendees and apologies



Organisation, Role


Dan Wahnon

Technoturn – Chair


Michele Augousti

Sussex Chambers of Commerce, Board member


Charlotte Clark

No.7 Contact Lenses


Philip Jagger

Bexhill College, Engineering Dept.


Mike King

Kurt J Lesker, Production Manager


Matt Knight

Akro Valve


Kathryn Mountfield

University of Sussex, Careers Engagement


Dr David Oloke

University of Brighton


Matt Ryan

ESCC, Careers Hub


Andrew Pritchard

Bexhill College


Joy Sheen

General Dynamics, HR Business Partner


Victoria Spencer

JCP, Employment Advisor


Greg Spink

Vadik Pro


Keith Wood

ESCG, Engineering Dept



Holly Aquilina

ESCC, Skills Strategy Manager


Hannah Brookshaw

ESCC, Partnerships & Projects Manager



Lawrie Alford

LATC Automotive UK


Debbie Baldock-Apps



Gareth Jones



Dominic Whitefoot

Edwards Vacuum

Actions arising from this meeting




Feedback on National manufacturing day event


Next meeting

Update on CNC course roll out


By next meeting

Engineering after school club project

a) JS (General Dynamics) and MK (Kurt J Lesker) to speak to their respective colleagues about getting involved.

b) Update on project and next steps at next meeting





Initial discussion by end October





Next meeting

T Level discussion to be included at October Skills East Sussex meeting


Mid-October (SES Board)

1. Welcome (new members)

DW welcomed new members to the meeting.

2. Review of Previous Minutes & Actions

All actions from the last meeting being picked up during agenda items.

3. Update from tutor encounters

MR – great feedback had been received from the construction and engineering tutor encounters event hosted at the East Sussex College Group Green Skills Centre in Hampden Park. CPD knowledge and upskilling event for tutors on a specific sector, hear from employers, make connections, and inspire the next generation. Official feedback from the event will be shared once available.

A short summary video of the day is available to view now.

The next Tutor Encounters events will be focussed on the Health and Social Care sector.

DO – positive atmosphere. Looked at range of qualifications – T Level, apprenticeship, high technical qualifications, careers map and journeys through. Two key notes speakers on engineering and construction offer great opportunity to understand breadth of jobs.

PJ – as a teacher found it really engaging, particularly good for networking with employers – made contacts with 30 companies and now progressing a range of opportunities. AI section was good for myth-busting and something would like to see more of.

4. National Manufacturing Day

DW – To coincide with National Manufacturing Day there is a careers event at ESCG Hastings campus on 29 September. 1066 Manufacturing Group are one of sponsors (11 companies who come together to discuss non-competitive issues such as skills, journey to net zero, raising the profile).

Action 1: Feedback on the event will be shared at the next meeting.

5. Update on CNC courses

KW provided a brief update on the CNC courses (request for these was driven through this group, particularly MK) in Lucy Mitchell’s absence. Is progressing well with tutors in place and learners ready, start date to be confirmed.

MKn asked if CNC will be part of the apprenticeship and if his machinist apprentices would be able to be trained in it. KW – not as yet but they are being incorporated into the new machinist pathway (Apprenticeship and T Level).

ER – short course for unemployed/upskill existing in the industry – no date agreed yet.

Action 2: Further update to be provided.

6. After School Club proposed programme

HB – worked with DW and the 1066 manufacturing group to submit a funding bid to the Royal Academy of Engineers for After school club pilot programme in Hastings. Working with engineers to deliver after school clubs in 2 primary schools initially. Includes public engagement training and lesson plan development support for the engineers as well as resources. Focussed on increasing visibility of, and enthusiasm for engineering as a career by ‘catching’ them at primary school age. At the end of the project will have a template and resources to look at extending its remit beyond the initial pilot, as well as looking to roll it out to other sectors.


  • Formal decision due April 2024 however, feedback/request for further information should be received in the next couple of months.
  • Project starts: May 2024 (mobilisation/training/lesson plan development)
  • Project Delivery: October 2024 – July 2025

HA noted that HAF funding is one way that could be used to do this (funding via ESCC for school holiday clubs, particularly for those receiving free school meals). Also noted the possibility to university students getting involved to support the development of the project. KM – noted that this could be promoted as an opportunity to students, subject to timing.

PJ – would be great to get girls interested as engineering is not considered as a career option. Could female engineers be included in the project.

DO – noted that he is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Engineering and construction – happy o offer support where useful.

Action 3:

  1. a) JS (General Dynamics) and MK (Kurt J Lesker) to speak to their respective colleagues about getting involved.
  2. b) Update on project and next steps at next meeting

8. AOB/Date of next meeting

  1. a) Eastbourne Digifest conferenceTaking place on 22 September at the Welcome building in Eastbourne. Range of speaker, panel sessions and workshops to celebrate all that is digital in Eastbourne. More information and tickets available on the website.
  2. b) Multiply project – offering upskilling in work related maths skills, such as excel, wage calculations etc. Build in payment for employers to release their staff to undertake courses.
  3. c) ESTAR – Supporting those in temporary/supported accommodation to move into work or an apprenticeship with built-in employer incentives to support businesses.
  4. d) Skills East Sussex Board – due to include an agenda item at the October board meeting on 16 – 19 T Level provision.

T Levels will be replacing BTECs, with some already transitioning over. T Levels offer fundamentally the same syllabus, but include 45 days work placement, – HA asked if this will be a challenge to offer locally?

KW – industry placements are key to supporting students in real world work experience, however it can be a struggle to find a placement locally, some students currently are travelling further afield.

AP – may reduce the cohort numbers on T Levels if employer placements are not able to be found, and students having to be diverted onto other pathways.

DWa – 1.5 days per week would be a challenge for his company to offer something meaningful, apprenticeships meet their needs better.

Action 4: HA – the discussion at this meeting will feed into the SES agenda item.