30 Nov 12

EDF Energy supports career taster for 250 students

250 students from schools in and around Taunton and West Somerset swapped lessons last week for a morning of activities aimed at inspiring the engineers and scientists of tomorrow.

The Cheltenham Science Festival journeyed south to Somerset to deliver a workshop where year 9 pupils could meet with young scientists to learn about potential careers.

For EDF Energy, the festival’s principal education sponsor, it was a great opportunity for employees to get involved and utilise their training as STEM ambassadors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Following a ‘speed-dating’ format, pupils got the chance to question young scientists and engineers about their jobs and talk informally about what it is really like to work in industry. The ‘Careering Around’ session aims to help young people consider science subjects in a fun and engaging way, ahead of making career choices at A-Level.

With between 400-500 apprentice positions available during the proposed construction of Hinkley Point C, promoting careers in STEM areas is vital for EDF Energy to ensure a future workforce with the right skills.

Lorraine Taplin, Local Education Coordinator at Hinkley Point, said: “Employees trained as STEM ambassadors perform an important role in helping bridge the gap between education and industry. There will be many thousands of job opportunities in Somerset in years to come, so inspiring the next generation of workers is hugely important.”

Marguerite Bowden, Assistant Principal at West Somerset Community College where many pupils participated, thanked organisers: “A morning like this is a great chance for students to meet with people from industry. One of the ambassadors was actually a former student here, showing existing pupils just what’s possible. I am sure some of those taking part will be inspired to explore STEM careers further, as well as opportunities with local employers.”

Schools that took part were West Somerset Community College, Kingsmead Academy in Wiveliscombe, and Taunton's Castle School and Bishop Fox’s School.