06 December 2018
Feedback from Silverstone Park’s pilot schools project Inspiration for Innovation’s latest activity suggests some three in four Year 10 students are now interested in aiming for careers linked to companies at the high tech business estate.
Close to 200 ‘positive interactions’ were achieved between businesses on site and more than 40 Year 10 students from Silverstone University Technology College when they received a tour of the Force India Formula One team, vehicle hybrid and electrification specialist Delta Motorsport and Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence’s state of the art Metrology Facility inside Silverstone Park’s Innovation Centre.
Swedish electric car manufacturer Uniti which has announced plans to create a futuristic fully digitalised production plant at Silverstone Park also presented to the youngsters.
And said Julia Muir, CEO of Gaia Innovation which is managing Inspiration for Innovation: “The feedback received from the students proved that the visit to these businesses had a significant positive impact, with 100% of them reporting that they now knew much more about the jobs in existence at Silverstone Park and a whopping 74% stating that they would like to do a job linked to the activities they experienced on the day.
“The event has truly been a successful element of the Inspiration for Innovation programme and could help build a future skills pipeline for Silverstone Park.”
UTC teacher Jo Silvestre commented: “We’ve had some very positive interactions. Some of the students are normally quite quiet but felt comfortable enough to use the opportunity to ask employers about their companies’ products and about the decisions they make.
“Also about the opportunities in those career paths and how they can get to that end point; it’s not an opportunity they’d normally get in a classroom from teachers. It’s also very inspirational hearing it from real life employers rather than perhaps somebody in education themselves.”
She continued: “It was interesting to find out what branches of engineering the students can go into; the different markets, the intricacies of the job and how it can lead to other career paths – not just engineering.
“It’s been motivating for the students who have found out what ‘real life application’ is; this was an opportunity to ask real employers about what work based skills they are looking for – qualifications and pathways into industry, software applications, the future, where it’s going…”
Silverstone UTC, Kingsthorpe College in Northampton and The Buckingham School are the three partner schools participating in year one of Inspiration for Innovation – launched in the summer with Gaia appointed by Silverstone Park developer MEPC to manage the project.
More than 20 representatives of businesses associated with Silverstone Park 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.
Julia Muir added: “We are extremely grateful to MEPC and the Silverstone Park companies for facilitating this fantastic event, enabling multiple meaningful encounters with ‘real model’ employers for the participating UTC students.”