This topic now called 'EARNING A LIVING', and with new material for July 2006
"Everyone was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed."
Prince Philip during the 1980's recession
This page archived in August 2008
At Year 7, we look at Primary in the guise of FARMING. Secondary or manufacturing involves the study of the CAR INDUSTRY (a good BBC article here summarises the main locations - may become a dead link at some stage - if so come on back and try some of our other links..) We are planning to change the nature of the Schemes of Work and update them.
Now added a section on one of the trends which has been receiving a lot of publicity recently, which is the OUTSOURCING of jobs: moving them to cheaper locations. This has particularly affected CALL CENTRE jobs. Go HERE to find out more.
Perhaps the best example of this is FARMING: see the FARM page for more details.
Fishing is an industry in crisis, as the stocks in the North Sea are so low that a ban was introduced on St. Valentine's Day 2001 to prevent inshore fishing. The fishing fleet which used to sail from Grimsby and other ports is slowly dwindling. There are ever changing rules and regulations regarding quotas, many of which make little sense to the fishermen themselves.
For general industrial information, try the DETR website: nice central graphic but can be difficult unless you know exactly what you want.
The big Multinational companies all have their own websites. For food it has to be NESTLE, or COCA COLA (or Unilever). So, which industries to use as case studies ?
One of the other examples of Primary industry is COAL MINING. There are few collieries left now. I well remember the strike, and the 'Battle of Orgreave' a few miles down the valley from my parents' house, and an attack on a local police station, and flying pickets (and I don't mean the dodgy group with the acapella numbers). My grandfather was a pit deputy.
There is also now an excellent new resource on mining, complete with Google Earth files, courtesy of Noel Jenkins, at his Juicy Geography site, all about BLOOD DIAMONDS. He's a diamond geezer...
An ASSEMBLY INDUSTRY: this gives you the chance to talk about production lines, 'just in time', economies of scale and other big concepts, and the difference between raw materials and components or sub-assemblies.
First of all, try a simple CAR PARK SURVEY. There's a useful data collection form in the teachers' guides for the EARTHWORKS series of books. Put the data into EXCEL and produce some graphs. There's a simple survey that can be used by all groups.
Obviously the main manufacturers also have their own websites. As a Case Study, we tend to use the Toyota Plant at Burnaston: featured in the 'Key Geography for GCSE' textbook, and as a case study at the back of the Key Geography 'Connections' textbook. Many Japanese firms have invested heavily in the EU / UK. A suitable search will bring up several useful sites. The plant uses Japanese production techniques such as KAIZEN, ANDON and JUST IN TIME.
A very useful site is the one which links to the BBC's WORKING LUNCH programme. This is Lesson 4 in a series of articles, and focuses on Industrial Location. There are other resources from this area. It includes some very useful items (see below..)
E-mail me if you find some better sites, or better case studies in the King's Lynn / West Norfolk area.
There's a rather wonderful 'transparent' car factory in Dresden, Germany, producing the Phaeton luxury model, which is featured in a forum posting linked to below: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=183764 Has some excellent images of the various stages in manufacturing. This is not mass production, but is useful to show the stages in the construction of a car. Beautiful clear images too...
Also some excellent detail in an article by Neil Steinberg in Granta 89, relating to the Ford car plant at Chicago in the USA. The plant sits on the south side of the city. http://www.granta.com/extracts/2259 is an extract from the article, which contrasts the car plant with a lamp making workshop...
Ford pioneered mass production in the manufacture of the Model T Ford, which was famously available in any colour "as long as it's black"
Plant was built in 1924, originally to make Model T Fords
Now has 2.8 million square feet of space
A typical Ford car consists of 10 000 components, which are put together to make 2 400 sub assemblies e.g. instrument panel for dashboard of a car
A car is finished every 64.8 minutes
The 'assembly line' is no longer a conveyor belt, but a computer controlled monitored track with a series of racks holding the partially assembled vehicles
There are 2 000 employees, divided into teams - plus a series of robots, which are sophisticated and are self-cleaning and self-adjusting - the teams are known as KAIZEN groups, following the Japanese theme which is mentioned elsewhere in this page and is followed by TOYOTA too
There are only enough parts in inventory for the plant to operate for another 3 hours !
It costs money to hold stock in inventory, so by reducing the time, Ford increases profit (about $7000 per vehicle) - this is risky as one missing piece can bring the factory to a halt.
Components are manufactured in a special area half a mile from the plant called the Chicago Manufacturing Campus.
I must declare an interest as my father was a steelworker and engineer for 45 years until his retirement in 2001. For details on HOW STEEL IS MADE, go here.
Recently opened in Sheffield is another Millennium project: let's hope it does better than the National Centre for Popular Music, or the Earth Centre. It's called MAGNA, and is based at the old Templeborough Mills between Rotherham and Sheffield, where my dad worked for so many years. They have a good site with some useful education pages. If you're in the area, pop in ... Visited it in 2003, and it's very impressive, and cold as well. During the heatwave a lot of people were going just to get cool as the building doesn't get hot. Even when they were casting and pouring steel there would still be ice on the floor right next to where the molten metal was flowing.
Industry has also come and gone in South Wales. Coal and steel have had their day and left their mark on the landscape. GeoNet offers a guide to revising this issue, and others. This is a common CASE STUDY area.
Just 'down the road' from King's Lynn, and a place many students will have passed through without realising is the CAMBRIDGE SCIENCE PARK. This site offers a Virtual Reality tour of the park, and lots of history and background. Needs Quick Time installed unfortunately so it's not immediately accessible to all teaching groups.
GeoNet looks at the arrival of Korean company GOLDSTAR.
Anyone remember Sam Spillane and the Case of the Soft Centres ? It was a cartoon strip lesson resource in Teaching Geography in June 1989. Looks at the location of a warehouse for Cadburys and why it was located where it was.
Very often, some of the best improvements to quality of life come from small scale changes to people's lives, and this is where Intermediate Technology, or Appropriate Technology come in. Several charities fund projects which fall into this category. I do a lesson which involves looking at the role that some charities play.
Start out with COMIC RELIEF. They always include some thought-provoking video case studies in amongst the funny bits. They have also kindly sent materials for use in schools in the past.
The Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) also have a useful site.
Also see what OXFAM: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/education/ have to offer.
1. Types of Jobs
What about the old job sort activity ? Look at the jobs below and try to decide which category they fall into...
Teacher, Bricklayer, Astronaut, DJ, Website designer, Nurse, Refuse collector, Shop assistant, Solicitor, Fisherman, Welder, Car mechanic, Steelworker, Campbells production line worker, Carrot topper, Football manager, Cheese-maker, Cooper, Research scientist etc...
2. MAGIBOX PLC
Colin Beswick has produced a useful little industrial location exercise based on a television manufacturer called Magibox. There's a map, and some instructions on his site, and it could act as a little stopgap if you're stuck for inspiration and it's past midnight. The idea is that there are 3 possible locations in Swindon. You have to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each site for a TV assembly plant, and produce a report for the company directors. A nice resource.
Crisps are a good product to use as an example with students - it's their staple diet. They can be used to follow through the chain from Primary to Secondary to Tertiary.
They are a food product which are not particularly healthy, but are heavily promoted, and would be in most students' (and staff) lunchboxes. Consumers will choose particular brands based on a range of issues, including price and taste. Advertising may come into the choice.
Can consider the journey from field to packet, and the various environmental aspects of packaging. At least there is an incentive to collect some companies' packs when they have promotional offers involving books and schools.
More to come here soon...
Consider the 4 'Tiger Economies': Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore.
How are they doing at the moment ?
How did they do in the 'year of the Tiger' ?
These are Newly Industrialising Countries. They are fast growing economies which are closing the economic gap between these LEDCs and the MEDCs. They are located around the Pacific Rim. What else do they have in common ?
Channel 4's ASIA PACIFIC series of programmes is very useful here.
The 3rd program in the series: KOREA: MICROCHIP MIRACLE looks at the Korean company of SAMSUNG which is based in Kumi City. It looks at the lives of people who work for the big companies.
Go HERE for the Channel 4 section on this programme. You can get from here to the other units of the Asia Pacific series.
There are also some notes on the PUPILVISION site.
Look out for the rise and rise of CHINA too.....
5. On the CREATIVITY area of SLN GEOGRAPHY is a useful exercise created by Steve Gibbons of Sandbach School, Cheshire. The brief is for students to design their own factory: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. (I like the idea of this!)
They need to consider a series of questions which would have to be considered in turn by a company choosing a location for a new premises. They include all the usual locational factors, but expressed in clear language that students can understand. The answers must be logical, and students should consider that there are consequences of choosing particular options.
5. THE GLOBAL CAR INDUSTRY
Another excellent WEB ENQUIRY hosted at the SLN GEOGRAPHY site. The enquiry HERE is entitled:
"The Global Automotive Industry - who benefits and who loses ?"
and has been created by Stephen Smith, from King Edward VI School in Chelmsford.
It asks pupils to find out first of all what a list of places including Dearborn, Sao Paulo and Dagenham have in common.
6. MOTORWAY SERVICE STATIONS
Some information HERE.
7. FARMING STUFF
Check out the links from FACE ONLINE
8. THINKING THROUGH GEOGRAPHY BOOK
Mystery on Sony and other electronics firms moving to South Wales at one end of the M4 corridor. Recently, in January 2005 there was an article warning of job cuts in this area. Apparently this is to do with our demand for TFT / LCD / Plasma screens rather than the older CRT sets. I did my bit to keep the jobs by not buying an LCD TV recently.
9. Can I suggest that you buy a copy of this book - perhaps from the BOOKSHOP.
This is an excellent book. It has a series of excellent and very useful articles.
"Made in China" by Isabel Hilton - looks at the changing face of manufacturing in China, and the changing relationship with the West, particularly the recent trend towards making goods for export
"A Job on the Line" by Desmond Barry
"Chocolate Empires" by Andrew Martin - about Rowntree, Cadbury
"Fancy Lamps" by Neil Steinberg - looks at the Ford car plant in Chicago and the way that it operates - some excellent detail on modern car manufacturing processes
10. JOBS POWERPOINT (Pwowerpoint)
This is a lesson to introduce the idea of jobs to Year 7 pupils.
TERTIARY JOBS: THE SERVICE SECTOR
Pronounced 'Ter-sharry' rather than 'territory' as a lot of my Year 7s tended to do. This is the most common job sector in the UK and other MEDCs. It accounts for 7 out of 10 jobs in the UK, including my own...
The basic idea to this is that the UK has moved through its agricultural and industrial phase, and is now in the position of being able to generate most of its GDP by offering services.
One of the recent trends in this area is the trend for OUTSOURCING...
This means that jobs which used to be done in the UK are now carried out by people elsewhere in the world.
Some new OUTSOURCING resources at a nice new GeographyPage here.
QUATERNARY / QUINARY
Aren't these just tertiary by another name ? What is it that makes them different ?
There are issues with defining industry appropriately.
Remember also the difference between BASIC / CAPITAL and CONSUMER industries in the Secondary sector. It's not as straightforward as it looks.
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