BMW Factory trip
MPW's Business Studies department recently took over 50 A level students round the BMW Mini plant in Oxford over two afternoons to show them the £650m investment in robotics undertaken by BMW over the last five years and the subsequent changing role of employees at the factory.
Students were guided round the factory and the final assembly plant, learning about the ability to achieve mass customisation through CAM and seeing productivity, quality, lean production and efficiency initiatives in action. Some groups were taken by knowledgeable professional guides but others were taken round by retired workers from the factory floor who had far more inside information to share. This way they gained more insight into day-to-day work at a successful factory and again how this has changed. The students pumped the guides for further information, which was then shared in classes later that week. This is an area that 16 and 17 year-olds struggle with on the course as they have had so little experience of work so it helps put the HRM themes into practice.
The trip also gave them insight into UK export destinations and how these are changing. BMW after Brexit was discussed in some groups. Before leaving the students were invited to apply for apprenticeships and informed about the subsidies offered by BMW on engineering and other university courses.