Smeg has always been an active employer and keen supporter of the local community, and since moving to its new HQ in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, the company has continued to foster strong links locally.
Students from Abingdon School’s design and technology students had an opportunity to study various aspects of the brand’s product portfolio during their project work, whilst business and economics students visited Smeg’s headquarters taking part in workshops exploring Smeg’s business strategy.
Each team (or company) is required to set up a business, resource and operate it, source and manufacture products, right through to managing the sales, marketing and accounts. At the finals students were asked to set up trade stands and pitch their products to judges to support their business plans and company reports, culminating in presentations to secure their pitches all judged against formal criteria.
One of Abingdon School’s companies ‘Wabi-Sabi’ [the art of imperfection]– designed and published a unique cook book writted by and aimed solely at teenagers. The book has been a huge success and even endorsed along the way thanks to Bake Off queen, Mary Berry. Wabi Sabi also received the Smeg Award for Innovation and Creativity in recognition of this success. This result is made all the more impressive as the team were the only students from the Year 10 age group, while all other competitors were sixth-formers – thus an excellent achievement.
Brand manager John Davies acted as a judge at the South Oxfordshire and vale finals and progressed to the country finals at SAID Business School, judged by Smeg’s managing director, Mike Giddings and commercial director, Jill Ashford.
Mike Giddings said: “Our work with local schools has been hugely rewarding so far. The ideas and creativity that young people are demonstrating is incredible. Smeg hopes that supporting young talent and providing them with as many opportunities as possible can only benefit the local area for which we see ourselves very much a part of”.