28 October 2019
• Year 2 target of 5,000 ‘meaningful encounters’ between students & businesses
• 5 more businesses ‘sign up’ to increase reach among school students
Silverstone Park’s Inspiration for Innovation (I4I) schools/career pathways programme with Gaia Innovation will aim to achieve 5,000 ‘meaningful encounters’ with teenage students between now and June 2020.
Sponne School, Towcester will join The Buckingham School and Kingsthorpe College, Northampton as partner schools. Furthermore the University of Buckingham has joined Silverstone Park as a co-sponsor in order to expand the programme in its second year.
In addition, five more volunteer businesses have agreed to join I4I, taking the number of those participating to 23.
Giving schools and students direct access to business professionals – or ‘real models’ – is seen as essential by I4I in being able to inform youngsters of the career pathways available to them.
In Year 1 this was achieved by a number of activities, including professionals presenting to whole classrooms or via ‘round table’ discussions, plus students going behind the scenes of tech businesses based at Silverstone Park.
Overall, 2,643 of students reached in Year 1 reported some 2,600 ‘meaningful encounters’ (98%) with I4I’s volunteer businesses – more than double the original target of 1,000.
In Year 2 that target has been raised to 5,000 meaningful encounters with the programme particularly focusing on students in Years 9 and 11.
Silverstone Park Commercial Director Roz Bird:
“The I4I programme has been well received by local schools and our occupiers. We wanted to find a way to help our companies that said they were worried about the future skills pipeline, and this programme will make a difference over the long term.
“We look forward to working with the local schools in Year 2 and are very glad to have the University of Buckingham on board to help expand all the best aspects of the year one pilot, to give our students the best possible experience during the new school year.”
Gaia Innovation creates engagement programmes to connect schools, universities and growth sector employers and runs several ‘I4I’ programmes across the UK, with Silverstone Park’s being exclusive to the East Midlands region.
Its CEO Julia Muir enthused: “It is wonderful to welcome Sponne School to the programme, and the University of Buckingham as a co-sponsor.
“Their funding support and that continuing from (Silverstone Park developer) MEPC has enabled us to grow from one to three Inspiration for Innovation events, so that each participating school will be hosting an amazing event with up to 50 employer and university volunteers engaging with their students.
“There will be sessions designed to raise the youngsters’ awareness of the fantastic opportunities in automotive, engineering and business enterprise.
“Furthermore, our relatable role models from the world of work will be sharing their personal stories and giving their views of the different career pathways and employability skills needed for the jobs of the future.”
CLICK HERE for a gallery of images showing Sponne School students’ tour of Silverstone Park businesses in early October.