School/College/Business: One Sixth Form and Superstructures Engineering
Topic: Engineering challenge
Gatsby Benchmark(s): 2, 4 and 5
James Potter, owner and Managing Director of Superstructures
Engineering based in Ipswich, is passionate about bridging the gap
between education & business and therefore volunteers as an
Enterprise Adviser at One Sixth Form. James and colleague Liam
Swann, whom he hired after mentoring Liam at the Sixth Form,
recently supported an engineering workshop with a group of students.
Students studying on a BTEC level three engineering pathway were challenged to build a bridge
capable of holding a half kilo weight in 75 minutes using basic materials. The idea was to bring to life
the creativity, teamwork and problem solving that’s required by individuals who want to work as
structural engineers in the future.
James said, “We have a big skills shortage in engineering and construction locally, so we wanted to
bring a slice of the real world to One to show learners the depth of career opportunities that are
“I love my job and find it incredibly satisfying. Every day is a school day and you are constantly
learning. I wanted to try and bring that enthusiasm to One and the students really enjoyed
participating in the bridge building session.”
Former One student Liam, works for Superstructures as a degree apprentice and returned to the
college to help with the event. He started his apprenticeship degree based in the Ipswich branch only
days after picking up his A-level results. “I contacted James whilst I was at One and was taken on as
an apprentice soon after my A-level results were confirmed. It was great to be back and hopefully
this event will inspire others to follow the same path as me.”
16-year-old Mia Duncan is a student at One who took part in the sessions. She said, “It’s good
working with external companies as it takes you out of the classroom and into the real world.”
Teacher of engineering at One, bdul Samba, said, “We would like to thank Superstructures for their
support. They have been incredibly supportive towards us as a college in recent years and we are
looking forward to working with them again in the future.”
For further details, please contact Jordan Holder, [email protected]