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Students gain practical insights into leading global manufacturer

Students from the Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Management degree at USW recently visited Continental Teves in Ebbw Vale – one of the largest car parts manufacturers in the world – to learn more about its contribution to the economy in Wales and beyond.

The Ebbw Vale plant specialises in the production of hydraulic brake calipers and other components for the automotive industry, exporting them worldwide. The second year students visited the site as part of their Logistics and Material Management module, enjoying a tour of the facilities and a Q&A session with the Continental team.

As part of USW’s partnership with Continental Teves, students gain up-to-date information and insight into trends in the industry, so that this can be embedded into classroom theory. The company also offers placement opportunities for students on the Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Management sandwich course.

Luke Evans, lecturer in Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Management, joined USW from Continental Teves earlier this year. He said: “Experiences such as this allow our students to witness firsthand how theoretical concepts that they have been in learning in class are applied in practice within manufacturing and distribution settings.

“By observing production processes, inventory management techniques, and logistics operations, students gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and challenges faced in supply chain management. In turn, this can help them develop a better understanding and a feel on what they will be stepping foot into in the future when they begin work.”

John Callison, 45, who is originally from Scotland and now lives in Hengoed, chose to study Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Management at USW after a 15-year career in sales. He said: “I was made redundant during the Covid-19 pandemic, but was fortunate enough to have savings to go back to studying and be more decisive about what industry I wanted to work in. I’d had some procurement experience during my career and wanted to build on that.

“It was interesting to see that Continental Teves is about more than just tyres, and that the plant is now growing and expanding after facing some challenging times.

“After graduating, I’m hoping to secure a sandwich placement and eventually work in Logistics or Procurement. I have also achieved my Lean Six Sigma Green Belt [project management qualification], which would enable me to go into Project Management or Change Improvement as a career.”

Eva Underdown, 21, from Gloucester, enjoyed visiting Continental Teves after learning about the company during her studies. She said: “I chose to study Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Management at USW as it offers a clear route into my chosen career in the future. The trip was a great way to learn more about how Continental Teves operate, allowing me to link my previous learning to real-life scenarios, which really helps us to gain an insight into the industry.”