STUDENTS have been given the opportunity learn about naval engineering at a two week work placement at a Dorchester-based company.

BAE Systems hosted a group of students to provide them with an insight into the role of an engineer at the company.

The students had the chance to manage a mini project in which they could learn about several aspects of engineering and gain some practical experience.

Connie Wilson, senior systems engineer at BAE, organised the event. She said the programme was set up to encourage more young people to think of engineering as a career.

She said: "We weren't getting enough young people coming through in our business so I set up a work experience programme as a STEM ambassador.

"This was the pilot and we are now planning on rolling out more programmes across the South West. In 2020 the plan is to work with Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester to try to work towards having some events there to encourage students to come on to our work experience programmes.

"We think it is really important to get the views of younger people. A lot of the work experience in this industry only gives students a slice and rarely lets them do anything practical. We show them everything and we like to make it as hands on as possible."

Anna Bostock, 20, is from Dorchester and studies at the University of Liverpool. She was one of the students who took part on the course. Anna said: "The work experience began with us receiving a challenging brief, which seemed overwhelming. However, after two weeks of hard work, a strong team-spirit and plenty of biscuits, we had an initial system design.

"The experience gave us a glimpse at the cooperative nature of modern science, and also the work undertaken at Dorchester. An interactive day at HMNB Portsmouth showed us the sort of large-scale projects any of us could one day be a part of.

"I would recommend this to any student thinking of becoming an Engineer. It provided a comprehensive slice of real work while being fun."