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Sprowston pupils join business minister Norman Lamb to learn about manufacturing at Britvic in Norwich. But would it appeal to you?

08:42 30 June 2012

Minister Norman Lamb visiting Britvic

Minister Norman Lamb visiting Britvic's Robinsons factory in Norwich along with some pupils from Sprowston High School. Norman Lamb with pupils from Sprowston High School.

Angela Sharpe Photography

Youngsters from Sprowston Community High School had the chance to learn first hand about life working in manufacturing as part of a government initiative yesterday.

About 20 year nine pupils were given a tour of the Britvic factory in Norwich.

The facility, close to County Hall, produces 1m litres of fruit juice a day, all of which is made packed and transported across the country from the Norwich site.

The youngsters, who are part of the school’s young gifted and talented technology cohort of students, are all beginning their GCSEs.

They were provided with a tour of the 24-hour facility which operates five and a half days a week and employs about 260 staff as part of the government’s “See Inside Manufacturing programme, which will see firms in the food and drink industry, aerospace and defence, and the automotive sectors, open their doors to young people in host of events throughout June and July.

The company, which already runs a successful training initiative for teachers to find out about manufacturing, is supporting the scheme and also joining them was business minister and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb.

Patricia Sandu, 14, from Southalls Way, said she had enjoyed the tour.

“I’ve never been in a factory before and it was interesting to see how the bottling worked,” she said. “Working in manufacturing is something I’m thinking about, particularly product design.”

Lee Blackett, 14, from Rosa Close, Sprowston, said: “I didn’t realise how few people there were and how many machines were needed.

“It was quite interesting to see how everything worked.”

Mr Lamb said: It’s sometimes easy to forget the advanced manufacturing processes and skills needed to create the many products we use every single day, like soft drinks.

“Behind the scenes there are creative individuals working in modern workplaces, which is what we’re trying to show people through See Inside Manufacturing. It’s about getting youngsters to see the potential opportunities.

“We have here an incredbily advanced and innovative operation here in Norwich and I suspect an awful lot of people in Norfolk have no idea it even exists.”

Antonio Briggs, manufacturing manager at the factory, said: “There are plenty of opportunities in manufacturing and this is about making children aware of it.”

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