02 May Hannover Messe – Trade shows, technology & the next generation of engineers
Hannover Messe, the world’s largest and most comprehensive industrial technology event is now over for 2017.
As always, it was an extremely busy trade show, with over 5,000 exhibitors, including companies large and small from around the world, and more than 225,000 visitors.
These visitors included engineers, buyers, managers and even politicians – Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor attended, spent a lot of time at the show on the first day with a number of exhibitors that included one of our clients, Lenze.
I was struck by the number of what were obviously secondary school, or high school students, attending the exhibition. Most of these were clearly on organised tours, as they were being taken around the various exhibits in groups of between 20 and 30 people, with an approximately equal balance between boys and girls.
I’m aware that Germany places greater emphasis on a technical education, so it wasn’t a surprise to see students attending the show. What was surprising was the sheer number and the organised nature of the visits.
Contrast this to the average UK trade or technical exhibition, where you may see the occasional few students and sometimes small groups of apprentices. But it’s rare – in fact I can’t recall ever having seen – an organised school trip to allow students to investigate the latest industrial technologies.
Many UK companies invest significant time and resources in training apprentices – indeed, many of our clients provide outstanding opportunities for apprentices and at least one client has a senior manager who started life at the same company working as an apprentice. However, I wonder why more is not being done by schools to partner with manufacturers or to encourage students to attend trade shows as part of organised trips. After all, it’s here that some of the most interesting technical developments can be found; its where students can actually touch and interact with technology, and talk to those who can excite their passion to become the next generation of engineers, scientists and manufacturers.
Maybe we’re missing a trick in the UK?
(Images are courtesy of the Hannover Messe website media library)