Manufacturing remains an important industry in the UK – it accounts for 55% of exports – and in June 2011 the government launched a pilot programme to encourage the next generation of engineers

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The automotive industry was selected for the government pilot and as a leading producer of autocatalysts for cars, Johnson Matthey was one of over 40 companies who signed up to take part.

On 29th June 2011 the Royston site hosted the launch of the initiative with a careers development day for careers advisers and senior teaching staff. In a high profile event, the UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, explained how the programme would provide school students, teachers and careers advisers with the opportunity "to see first hand the essential role that industry plays... to help us achieve the sort of sustainable and balanced growth that the country needs."

At its various sites, Johnson Matthey supports educational activities to attract young talent, and Neil Carson, Johnson Matthey's Chief Executive endorsed the 'See Inside Manufacturing' programme. "We're excited to be part of this important initiative," he said, emphasising the need to "challenge perceptions that Britain doesn't make anything anymore."

The automotive industry is subject to tightening legislation to control emissions from vehicles and Johnson Matthey plays a key role in developing and manufacturing high technology products to control pollutant emissions. During the day, the company explained the skills involved in the research, development and manufacturing of these products and the career options available to students at all levels. Visitors were shown round the site to see for themselves what it takes to develop and manufacture an autocatalyst.

Thanks to companies like Johnson Matthey, the pilot of 'See Inside Manufacturing' in 2011 proved highly successful and the automotive industry has renewed its participation for a further year, joined by the food and drink, aerospace and defence industries.