30 January 2019
Senior figures from politics, education and industry have further praised Silverstone Park’s Inspiration for Innovation schools programme after its latest event to bring students closer to the world of business.
Some 240 Year 9 students (aged 12-13) at Kingsthorpe College, Northampton were visited by 30 employees from 20 businesses which have volunteered their time as part of the pilot project.
The students were invited to talk with business representatives in ‘speed networking’ sessions and in a separate workshop, to devise social media and marketing plans to advertise apprenticeships.
It is estimated that the visit achieved over 3,000 ‘positive interactions’ with the students.
Kingsthorpe Headteacher Jennie Giovanelli enthused: “Fundamental to our curriculum is that students leave us with leadership and employability skills.
“Today’s Inspiration for Innovation event opens their eyes beyond their immediate community and has been inspiring for them.
“Teachers have seen students who don’t normally engage really come to life and something spark inside them.”
She added: “We are incredibly grateful and feel very privileged to be part of such an innovative project which can help us to provide our students with character and currency – we need to prepare them for exams, but of equal importance is that they leave us as leaders and are able to contribute as citizens in their wider networks and take part in the great conversations of our time.”
Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Tony Ansell, joined the likes of Silverstone Park’s Commercial Director and Silverstone Technology Cluster Chair Roz Bird, Volkswagen AG’s Head of Group National Sales James Muir and Volvo Cars UK’s Direct Sales Manager Nicola Murphy in delivering inspirational talks.
James Muir said: “I can honestly say this was the best volunteering experience I have ever had in a school.
“Most importantly the school students were positive, friendly, open and willing to learn. I personally met many who showed true potential to be successful in the future, and it was a pleasure to play a part in encouraging them to have a positive mind set and try hard to achieve their goals.”
Cllr Ansell said: “It’s been incredibly important… listening today and everything I’ve seen; for example, it’s wonderful to hear about electric cars and the future and how it’s going to escalate.
“I’ve learnt so much today and the students seemed mesmerised by what was being spoken about. We also have some very good teachers here and facilitators who have given their days up for the good of the future generation so it was very good to see.”
Kingsthorpe College plus Silverstone University Technical College (UTC) and The Buckingham School are the three partner schools participating in year one of Inspiration for Innovation – launched last summer by Silverstone Park and being delivered by Gaia Innovation, a specialist in ‘outreach’/careers programmes with schools.
The businesses involved are associated with Silverstone Park and have volunteered to help achieve up to four ‘positive interactions per student’ at the partner schools. Following the pilot, the aim is to roll out the programme to more schools in the local area.
Gaia CEO Julia Muir commented: “Through the attention and encouragement the youngsters have received today from employers, each student will understand better what they need to do to access fantastic job opportunities in advanced technology sectors in the future. I hope that they will now also have renewed confidence to make the right choices to reach those jobs and achieve their best employment destination.”