Schools careers project Inspiration for Innovation exceeds Year 1 target in first six months

Schools careers project Inspiration for Innovation exceeds Year 1 target in first six months

24 April 2019

Silverstone Park’s pilot schools project ‘Inspiration for Innovation’ which provides greater engagement between students and the business community has already surpassed its Year 1 targets in just six months.

Latest analysis shows that by February the project’s volunteer businesses had achieved 2336 ‘encounters’ with secondary school students. From the evaluation data returned to date, the encounters classed as ‘positive/meaningful’ are tracking at 93%.

This would mean an achievement already of over 2000 meaningful encounters; more than double the project’s Year 1 target of 1000.

The data has been gathered by Gaia Innovation which specialises in careers pathway guidance for schoolchildren and which is managing Inspiration for Innovation for Silverstone Park.

Gaia’s CEO Julia Muir commented: “The Inspiration for Innovation project has been warmly welcomed by the schools and we have received a lot of very positive feedback from volunteers, pupils and school staff.

“It has been particularly valuable in informing the youngsters about the jobs of the future and the local employment opportunities, and the volunteers have found it very rewarding.

“We are hoping to scale up the project even further next year and would appreciate any potential new volunteers getting in touch.

“We are very grateful to Roz Bird of MEPC and the Silverstone Park companies for all their support”.

Twenty volunteer businesses linked to Silverstone Park have signed up for Inspiration for Innovation – each taking time out of their busy work schedules to visit or host students at the project’s three partner schools.

To date, these have included a range of activities involving students from Kingsthorpe College in Northampton, Silverstone University Technology College and Buckingham School, including seven in-school visits, one tour of Silverstone Park and one Inspirational Event. Activities have ranged from presentations to large groups, one-on-one advice sessions, sampling of equipment and the setting of tasks.

Silverstone Park Commercial Director Roz Bird said: “We are delighted that our business community at Silverstone Park has already been able to make a positive impact on students in our local schools, based on feedback from students themselves.

“The more we get involved, the more we find that the work is crucial to inform young people about all the jobs available in the Silverstone Technology Cluster.”

She added: “We also quickly realised that schools do not have the local career pathway information to help young people make the right decision about where to focus their efforts post-16. We therefore decided to do the research and provide the information ourselves…

“We started with engineering, identifying all the local options post-16 and we passed this on to Kingsthorpe College. At the end of the day, if we’re going in to schools to promote these careers then we need to know the answer to the simple question from students: what do I do next?”

Kingsthorpe’s Business Studies teacher and Careers Leader Diane Fisher enthused: “As a school we feel very lucky to be part of this programme and we are very grateful to the Gaia team and Silverstone Park for the work that they have done with our students so far.

“The positive impact it is having on students is evident through comments that we are receiving from parents and teachers; as well as the reactions and comments from students who are now thinking about their futures and aspiring to careers that they had before never heard or thought about.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Silverstone Business Park and to watching our students develop and thrive as we all contribute towards preparing them for the world of work.”

PICTURED are Kingsthorpe College students during a recent visit of businesses at Silverstone Park. CLICK HERE for a full pic gallery from their experience.