A group of Year 13 Mechatronics students from UTC Leeds took part in a factory visit to one of the region’s largest manufacturing sites, Unilever Leeds. Employing over 600 people, the site produces over 500 million aerosol and roll-on bottles a year for brands such as Lynx, Dove, Sure and Impulse. Unilever describe themselves as a global company selling fast-moving consumer goods, with a particular emphasis on sustainability.
Students are currently completing the final unit of their AQA Tech Level course: Mechatronic Control Systems. Mechatronics focuses on the engineering of both electrical and mechanical systems. The visit, which took place on the 15th March, allowed them to gain a strong industrial context behind the work carried out in college.
The day began with a site induction and an ice breaker, led by Year 4 Apprentice, Billie. This was all focused on the vast range of products Unilever sells, and what the company does. Ben and Jerry’s, Tresemme, Comfort and PG Tips are just a brief selection of the brands Unilever produces.
The students were split into two groups with separate activities. The first group took part in a tour of the production site, witnessing the Sure roll on and Lynx antiperspirant lines. The second group had an engaging and detailed presentation on the pneumatic systems by Year 3 Apprentice, Liam. The groups then swapped.
As well as getting an insight into the apprenticeship routes offered by Unilever, the students gained first-hand knowledge of the control systems used by Unilever to make their products, which the students will be able to apply directly to their work back at UTC Leeds.
Unilever Leeds is an employer partner of the UTC and provides a range of support. The visit was a great example of the kinds of employer-based activities that students at UTC Leeds enjoy as part of their studies.