Skills Showcase Expands Its Reach

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With just a week to go to the region’s largest employer inspired science, technology, engineering, manufacturing and construction careers event, Get up to Speed with STEM, the organisers are expecting a record turnout.

This year, 90 exhibitors from the Sheffield City Region and beyond are set to inspire over 2500 young people from 68 schools and colleges. Many of these are local, but some are travelling from as far afield as Newcastle and Leicester.

As well as extending the reach geographically, this year the event has encompassed new sectors and activities. For the first time it will include a Construction Zone, sponsored by Go Construct and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), showcasing the varied careers and skills required in the sector. The zone will have demonstrations on everything from traditional stone masonry to building design acoustics. Exhibitors include major local employers Horbury Group, Henry Boot, Mears Group and Woodhead Group.

Jeremy Wright, Partnerships Manager at CITB, said: “CITB is delighted to support this year’s ‘Get up to Speed with STEM’ event. It’s great to be a part of this experience which inspires young people seeking STEM careers in construction.

“Construction needs new entrants and especially those who understand the need to adopt new technologies. This event is a chance to demonstrate the wide range of available careers and attract the next generation of UK talent.”

For the first time the event will also host the finals of the Gulliver’s Wonderful World challenge, where five primary schools from Rotherham will compete to see who has the best ideas for their new theme park. Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park and Resort is an exciting and inspiring addition to the Rotherham landscape, playing a significant part in the regeneration plans for the borough and wider city region. It will impact positively on the local and regional economy, boosting investment, creating employment, growing tourism and raising the area’s profile. With this investment comes a desire by Gulliver’s to play a wider part in the local community, to maximise impact, become a good neighbour and support the wider transformation of the borough.

Another first is the introduction of presentations by young employees, telling the story of their journey from education into employment and their successes to date, offering inspiration to others and demonstrating that they too can succeed. “My Job, My Journey” speakers include those who have followed both the apprenticeship and university routes. Speakers include Dr Rahul Mandal, who works as a Research Associate at the University of Sheffield Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, and is the winner of the Great British Bake Off 2018. As an avid volunteer, STEM ambassador Rahul regularly works with young people to encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths-based (STEM) subjects. “If you can do baking, you can do science and engineering and if you’re doing engineering, then you can bake,” he says.

If that wasn’t enough then there are a range of local and national employers involved, including headline Sponsors Liberty Speciality Steels, AESSEAL plc and Cooper Brown Enterprises, plus many others such as Rolls-Royce, McLaren Automotive, Orchid Orthopaedic Solutions and Doncasters Bramah. There will also be a number of hands-on attractions, from an F1 Racing Car Simulator to Virtual Reality technologies and a Space Dome.

The event takes place at Magna Science Adventure Centre on Wednesday 27th March, and is open to schools, families and young people. The morning is now fully booked, but places are still available in the afternoon.