Aspiring Students Dig Out Mining Careers with the Smallpeice Trust

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, July 29, 2010 --( From 19th to 22nd July, 30 aspiring young engineers from across the UK enjoyed a unique learning experience at the University of Exeter’s Tremough Campus, near Penryn. The group of 15­­ to 17 year olds spent four days at the University’s Camborne School of Mines (CSM) learning about mining and minerals through a jam-packed timetable of educational and fun activities.

The four-day residential programme was specifically designed to help engineering and design and technology students reach a higher attainment target of the National Curriculum. The programme was designed through a partnership between The Smallpeice Trust and the University of Exeter and is sponsored by one of the world’s largest mining companies, Anglo American.

The course provided pupils with the opportunity to learn how the fortunes of mining underpin so much of modern life and how the latest technology is used to limit the impact of mining activity on the environment. Students discovered more about minerals and their properties and what will happen when natural resources are depleted. The course also included spending the day at CSM’s own test mine, visits to local quarries, and a trip to the Eden Project’s new educational centre.

Throughout the four days students developed life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving and time management. They also had the opportunity to find out about relevant engineering degrees, training routes including world travel and exploration, all of which will help them make their future career choices. Social activities included a film evening and a formal dinner where students and supervisors had the opportunity to socialise and share their experiences of the week.

Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Claire Fisher commented “We are able to offer this valuable insight into the thriving world of mining and minerals through the generous support we get from our world class leading sponsor. It is a real eye-opener for the students as they explore this subject and the vast opportunities available in this industry. As a result of this experience we hope they will be encouraged to consider a career in this exciting field.”

Dr Patrick Foster of the University of Exeter’s Camborne School of Mines said: “In spite of the recent economic downturn, the world’s mining industry is still strong and qualified mining engineers are in short supply. Graduates from CSM are in huge demand and are being head-hunted for positions all over the world. Despite this, not many young people have mining on their radar as a possible area of study at University. This is a very exciting time to be getting into mining and we hope that this event will inspire more young people to consider it as a future career.”

The Mining and Minerals course is run by the independent educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, as part of an ongoing programme of residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing. Through running over 32 residential courses and STEM enrichment sessions, The Trust has reached out to around 15,603 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2011 will be launched in September. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To find out more, visit, or telephone The Smallpeice Trust on 01926 333200.


Notes to editors:

About The Smallpeice Trust:

The Smallpeice Trust is an independent charitable trust which promotes engineering as a career, primarily through the provision of residential courses for young people aged 13 to 18.

The Smallpeice Trust was founded in 1966 by Dr Cosby Smallpeice, a pioneering engineer and inventor of the Smallpeice Lathe. Following the stock market flotation of his company Martonair, Dr Smallpeice invested his energy and part of his personal fortune to set up the Trust to ensure that British industry could continuously benefit from his proven design and engineering philosophies: “Simplicity in design, economy in production.”

The Trust is now governed by an eminent board of non-executive trustees and members from a diverse range of engineering, industry, educational and professional bodies. Over the past year, The Smallpeice Trust has reached out to around 16,000 young people through 32 different subsidised 4-day residential courses and 1-day in-school curriculum enrichment masterclasses.

For more information, visit

About Camborne School of Mines:

Camborne School of Mines (CSM) was founded in 1888 and became part of the University of Exeter in 1993. CSM has an international reputation for research and teaching related to the understanding and management of the Earth's natural processes, resources and the environment. Its portfolio of undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree programmes provide an excellent basis for careers, in the UK or overseas, within the Earth resources, civil engineering, environmental and energy sectors.

The vast majority of CSM graduates are employed in areas related to their degree. CSM is based at the £100 million Tremough Campus, which the University of Exeter shares with University College Falmouth as part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative. The Campus is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council.

The Smallpeice Trust:
Gemma Murphy
01926 333214
or contact:
Claire Ford
01926 333203