Fanuc UK’s First Work Experience Week Empowers Young Minds in Automation Engineering

by Anna

A cohort of seven talented young individuals, aged between 14 and 16, embarked on a week-long journey with leading automation specialists, Fanuc UK, gaining hands-on robotics experience while immersing themselves in the world of automation engineering.


In pursuit of dismantling barriers to engineering careers and nurturing future manufacturing talent, Fanuc UK extended a special invitation to this group of teenagers. The inaugural “Work Experience Week” unfolded within the hallowed halls of Fanuc’s UK headquarters at Ansty Park, Coventry, during August. This initiative showcased Fanuc’s commitment to fostering a robust pipeline of manufacturing talent and inspiring interest in the field of engineering.


Representing diverse schools and colleges in the vicinity, these seven young minds were treated to an immersive encounter with automation at the esteemed Fanuc Academy. The experience included hands-on training in robot programming coupled with an introduction to project management principles. Furthermore, participants were granted exclusive access to Fanuc’s portfolio of industrial robotic and automation solutions, while delving into the diverse sectors and applications wherein these innovations are deployed – spanning aerospace, automotive, food and beverage, and plastics industries.

To provide a comprehensive understanding of the path to a rewarding career in robotics, the students engaged in a Q&A session with Fanuc staff members, including Hara Konstantelia, a 23-year-old technical sales support engineer who herself entered the industry through an apprenticeship program and was instrumental in coordinating the week-long course.

Hara reflected on the experience, saying, “I’ve been thrilled to witness the passion these young individuals exude for automation and their eagerness to learn. Drawing from my own journey, supporting our work experience students and broadening their perception of engineering has been an enriching experience.”

Attracting Generation Z to embrace engineering careers remains a focal objective for Fanuc UK. The recent validation of its Training Academy enables the company to offer accredited courses that seamlessly align with mainstream education. FANUC’s Work Experience initiative showcases the alluring prospects within automation and manufacturing to a demographic that may not have previously encountered robotics firsthand.

Tony Bentham, Head of Customer Service at Fanuc UK, affirmed, “We recognize the significance of offering young individuals real-world, hands-on interaction with industrial robots. Fanuc’s Work Experience Week aims to ignite a spark among the youth, unveiling the journey towards a career in robotics, while facilitating direct interaction with professionals successfully living their dream jobs.”

For many participants, this marked their first encounter with robotic technology, leaving an indelible impression. Nathaniel Sharpe, 16, shared his thoughts: “It’s been an incredibly thrilling experience, and I’ve cherished every moment of it. I gained comprehensive insights into various types of robots produced by Fanuc – from collaborative units that work alongside humans to those equipped with vacuum or grippers for item handling, and even heavy-duty ones capable of carrying substantial loads.”

“This marked my maiden interaction with a robot, and contrary to my expectations, programming it was surprisingly straightforward. The week I spent at Fanuc unveiled the captivating realm of robotics and engineering – I would wholeheartedly recommend the work experience program to everyone.”

The resounding success of the inaugural Work Experience Week and the resplendent feedback from the participants have spurred FANUC to contemplate similar initiatives in the future. Hara encapsulated the sentiment, emphasizing the significance of such endeavors in showcasing the genuine skills essential for today’s engineering roles, often misrepresented in media platforms targeted at younger audiences. She expressed hopes that the participants left the week inspired, armed with a clearer understanding of the opportunities awaiting them in the world of engineering.


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