-part of the N4L Series; celebrating Learning at Work Week-
It’s my great pleasure to introduce Paul Edwards…
Managing Director of the Pentagon Plastics Group; a UK specialist group manufacturing Mould Tooling and providing Plastic Injection Moulding services, encompassing Pentagon Plastics Ltd and Phoenix Engineering.
What networked for learning means to me
Networked for Learning feels like a new concept, born by the social media phenomenon that has gripped the world of business. A new wave of people coming into industry who have been brought up with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. People who are using these tools to advance their own understanding of topics through a collaborative approach.
This is something my own father, who set up our family business, struggles to understand. I don’t think he quite grasps why I share and collect information from others or the business advantage this can provide us.
I find a collaborative approach to business, a breath of fresh air and something that can only make the UK a stronger force in our field of manufacturing.
My first source for information would generally be my search engine of choice but LinkedIn can also prove to be a good source through industry specific groups or just posting a question!
There are many other networked sources for learning such as webinars, white papers, blog posts and company websites which can provide the knowledge or material you need whilst enjoying a tea break…
And of course, the ‘Networking Event’ or as I like to call it a chance for a free breakfast, can offer the opportunity to build new relationships with other business who face the same highs and lows as you do.
We are in a social world and it is important that businesses embrace it in a way that will work for them.
My personal learning insights
At the Pentagon Plastics Group we have invested time over the last 12 months on work experience placements from secondary schools and university student network events for those who are completing a degree in Product Design and Engineering.
The visits are geared towards offering an insight into our industry, the opportunities it can present, and advice gained by my years in the industry. It also helps us learn what sparks an interest in students to pursue a career in design or manufacturing.
This has encouraged me to take on two apprentices at different stages of the learning cycle to enhance our business and help to bridge the skills gap that is present today.
I feel even stronger now that UK manufacturing will continue to grow and has the ability to draw in young people to be the engineers and industry leaders of tomorrow.