Students benefit from business world’s careers advice with virtual events

Students benefit from business world’s careers advice with virtual events

06 July 2021

More than 600 school students aged 14 to 15 have benefited from direct advice from the business world in Q1, 2021 as part of the MEPC Silverstone Park-sponsored careers outreach programme with the Automotive 30% Club.

Year 8 and Year 9 students at The Buckingham School (Buckingham), Sponne School (Towcester) and Kingsthorpe College (Northampton) heard from 32 business volunteers as part of the Inspiration for Innovation (I4I) programme during ‘virtual’ online events due to the Covid situation.

The volunteers represented the engineering and manufacturing industries and the automotive sector, as well as construction and professional services such as recruitment and media/marketing.

The Silverstone Park-supported I4I programme, now in its third academic year, is unique to the region. Events have previously been held in classrooms at schools and on site at Silverstone Park with young people receiving exclusive tours of its cutting-edge technology businesses.

It is calculated that I4I’s volunteer network has now provided advice, guidance, support and inspiration for some 4,500 young people since it started in autumn 2018.

CLICK HERE for a short video containing some of the feedback from the three schools involved.

Automotive 30% Club’s Julia Muir commented: “Our Inspiration for Innovation events had to be delivered virtually this year, but I’m so pleased that we were still able to bring together 30 business volunteers from the automotive and engineering sectors to engage with over 600 students in our three partner schools.

“The activities included talks from our I4I network sponsors Roz Bird of MEPC and Stuart Miles of Keyloop, hearing from a group of young professionals about starting out in a career, an informative panel discussion about engineering jobs, an employability skills advice session and an interactive quiz with prizes.

“The highlight for all the students was the career speed-networking sessions where they were able to digitally meet and speak to eight of our volunteers about a wide range of career related topics.

“Planning such an ambitious event was challenging in such an unpredictable environment, with the risk of school closures, the possibility of last-minute volunteer absence and even the potential for our own team members to be ill. I am very proud that my enthusiastic team, our fabulous sponsors, our wonderful business professionals and the very hardworking school staff managed to deliver such effective virtual events in the circumstances.

“Special thanks and recognition must go to Nicola Thompson for managing all three events so brilliantly and going on with the show, despite not only recovering from coronavirus but also suffering from a broken arm with multiple fractures.”

MEPC’s Roz Bird, Commercial Director at Silverstone Park, said: “We are very proud of the number of young people that I4I has reached despite the pandemic, and many thanks go to the Automotive 30% Club for successfully adapting the programme to a virtual format.

“A big thank you is also due to all the business volunteers – including many based at Silverstone Park – who found the time to raise awareness about different career paths and answer questions from the students.”

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