Senior figures from schools, business and higher education, will gather at
Warwick Manufacturing Group, at the University of Warwick, on Monday 14 June to launch a
scheme to equip schoolchildren to be the design engineers of the future. This initiative
will allow pupils to convert virtual reality computer aided design into the reality of a
finished product. The Schools CAD/CAM initiative pilot to be launched by Charles
Clarke MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary at the DFEE is a scheme devised by the
Warwick Manufacturing Group, in conjunction with the Parametric Technology Corporation to
provide pupils in schools across the country with the high quality software necessary for
the development of computer aided design skills. Professor Kumar Bhattacharryya, Director
of the Warwick Manufacturing Group, said:
"We are delighted to welcome to Warwick representatives of schools, higher
education, industry and government to launch this important initiative. The need to
improve the computer aided design skills of school pupils has long been recognised.
Without providing pupils with access to the latest high quality IT tools, we will not be
able to unleash the full design potential of our young people as we enter the new
"The programme has come about thanks to a most generous offer from one of our key
partners, the Parametric Technology Corporation, to provide their Pro-Desktop Design
Software to UK schools. This is very high quality software & with licenses, the value
of supplying just one set to every UK school is worth some $22 million."
Peter Rayson Senior Vice President of Industry Marketing for PTC, said:
"We are delighted to be able to deliver this kind of initiative into U.K. schools.
We know that out there in todays classrooms are the great future British designers
who can follow in the footsteps of Whittle and Dyson. What this scheme does is to enable
them to articulate their design ideas and we hope that some of those children are
motivated to progress to become eminent in industrial design."
Of course offering a box of software alone will not provide our young people with the
learning experience they need to give them the computer aided design literacy for the
future. That is why we are delighted that the Department of Education and Employment
(DFEE) has asked the Design and Technology Association (DATA, the Association of school
Design and Technology professionals) to draw up a managed programme to ensure the software
is properly used in schools.
Andy Breckon, Chief Executive of DATA said:
"This is an excellent opportunity to modernise the school curriculum, provide
resources that will motivate young people, raise the UKs skill base in a key area of
need for the British economy whilst promoting good relations between schools and
Fifty schools from across the country have been chosen to pilot this programme and they
will be joined by representatives from the software industry and the machine tools sector
to learn about how the programme is to be managed. Representatives of major UK CAD/CAM
users like British Aerospace, Rolls Royce and GEC will also be on hand to underline the
importance of this technology for UK industry.