Girls night in and employer links address science and tech education gap
As a national report reveals what science and technology workers thought of their schooling and on the eve of British Science Week (10-19 March), UTC@harbourside is working with employers and organisations to prepare Sussex students for the world of work.
A report published last Tuesday (28 February) by the Baker Dearing Trust reveals that many workers in science, technology, engineering, maths and computing (STEM) jobs would have liked more technical skills training and employer involvement in their education (1).
UTC@harbourside in Newhaven specialises in STEM education for 14-18 year olds from across Sussex. This year it has liaised with the University of Brighton, Lewes and Eastbourne councils, STEM Sussex, Sussex Engineering Skills, Sussex Heritage Trust and Newhaven Enterprise Zone to develop its strategy to equip students to become the highly qualified workforce Sussex’s hi-tech growth industries need.
Employers who have pledged to provide work experience and input to the curriculum include Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, Brightwells and Newhaven Port.
Activities this term include a STEM Girls Night In last Friday (3 March) with STEM Sussex and GCSE science and maths revision sessions – all open to students from other schools. Work experience and challenge projects from local employers are in the pipeline and the UTC is hosting an employers event with STEM Sussex at the end of March.
Principal Adanma Umunna says, “Employers in region have more than 90,000 jobs in science and technology roles and industries such as low carbon and environmental, advanced engineering and digital and IT are all forecast to grow. One in four year 10 students across Sussex will need to study for STEM qualifications if this demand is to be met.(2, 3, 4).
“We can see just how exciting the future could be for young people so we are giving them the best possible chance to be part of the planned regeneration of this region. The Greater Brighton Deal and the new Enterprise Zone in Newhaven bring great employment and commercial opportunities for people with the right education and training. With £15m invested in UTC so far, our state of the art STEM specialist facilities ensure we are well placed to support regeneration across Sussex and beyond. Also, as we build on partnerships with employers in the local community we hear time and time again that they have been waiting for this opportunity for years; this is great news for our students.”
“UTC@harbourside is a pioneering provision, targeting science and engineering and working closely with employers and organisations to make sure that the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers leave school with the qualifications, attitudes and mindset needed to take on the challenges of regeneration, in Sussex and across the country. Alongside the other schools in this area, we are committed to closing this skills gap and transforming the life chances for the next generation”
Danielle Vences, Head Girl of UTC@harbourside, says the school is preparing her for a future career in engineering or technology.
“Through being a part of UTC, I have learnt and continue to learn countless expertise, I have developed transferable skills to the industry I will succeed in. I look forward to the future and all the prosperity it holds for not only myself but the fantastic students that stand beside me. Call me biased but there is no academic institution I would choose over UTC@ harbourside. We are family.”
One employer committed to providing learning opportunities for UTC@harbourside students is the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, being built off the Sussex coast. Pete Andrews, Plant Manager there said: “The ability to solve technological and operational problems are key skills for young people looking to work in the offshore wind industry. Having the opportunity at college to build technical aptitude and to experience hands on engineering is of great benefit to young people interested in pursuing this type of career.”
Activities coming up at UTC@harbourside include:
16 March, 5.30pm – trial exam night and parents’ exam prep evening to share advice on the best way to get ready for exams.
Sat 25 March 10-2pm GCSE science revision
Tues 28 March open evening for potential students and their parents, 6-7pm.
Sat 22 Apr, 10am-2pm GCSE maths revision
Sat 20 May, 10am-2pm GCSE science revision
Thur 15 June, 6-8pm – engineering pizza and pi night for new students
Thur 6 July new student induction night.
To find out about any of these events visit http://www.utc-harbourside.org/events/ or call 01273 916170.