Students and their teachers can register to receive free guided tours of the MACH 2018 site, which will be led by apprentices from MTA member companies, enabling students to gain an in-depth insight into the industry.

In a change to previous years, parents and guardians are also welcome to register their children (over the age of 11) as visitors and come along to see for themselves the future of manufacturing.

In the Education and Development Zone there will be an opportunity for young people to take part in hands-on activities, including: Building your own drone; coding a robot to navigate a driverless car; designing and programming robots; immersive virtual reality environments and the chance to programme and use some of the latest machine tools.

Explains Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) chief James Selka: “Education and Development is a massive part of what MACH 2018 is about. We know that Engineering faces a huge skills gap and in order to bridge that we need to attract new talent into the industry. We also know that manufacturing suffers from an image problem.

“The state of the art technology on display at MACH provides an opportunity to excite and enthuse young people and the E&D Zone can help educate them about the reality of modern manufacturing and the careers that are available for them within it.”

More than 3,500 students attended MACH 2016 and the organisers are hoping for an equally as successful show this year.