Regional Employers Driving the Skills Agenda and Helping Youngsters Get up to Speed…

Later this month, Get up to Speed will make a welcome return to its now well-established home at Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, on Wednesday 27th March 2019.

This high profile, interactive event - now in its ninth year, has grown exponentially and already has more pre-event bookings than ever before, with over 3000 attendees registered and 59 schools and education establishments from across the region and beyond.

The event, championed by employers and delivered through The work-wise Foundation alongside key partners in the private and public sectors, is now recognised as the largest of its kind in the North. It has an impressive list of businesses exhibiting, including the likes of DB Cargo UK, McLaren Automotive, Tinsley Bridge, Polypipe, AMG Superalloys and Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd.

Headline sponsors for this year are Liberty Speciality Steels, Cooper Brown Enterprises and AESSEAL plc, with other event sponsors including Doncasters Bramah, Go Construct (CITB), Elevation Recruitment Group, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Highlander IT & Communications, Keebles, Orchid, Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Spotlight Studios, Hydra Creative, Made in Sheffield and the Manufacturing Forum.

Get up to Speed is a highly interactive event aimed at showcasing the science, technology, engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors, their employers and employment opportunities to young people, parents and educators.

The event aims to inspire, building confidence and knowledge in these sectors as a great place to work in a fun and interactive way.

The Made in Sheffield brand is recognised around the world and the region is renowned internationally for its expertise in high-precision engineering, metals production, new technologies and the high-quality design and manufacturing of products for a wide range of global industries. To keep pace with demand in engineering alone, 203,000 people with engineering skills are required in the UK per year to 2024 to fill the expected skills gap. Local companies understand the need to help celebrate and promote the industry, not just nationally and internationally, but more importantly locally, to ensure that there are enough talented and skilled young people entering the industry to meet demand. At the same time, research shows that only 36% of parents and 35% of STEM teachers feel confident giving careers advice!

Many local, and increasingly national companies, get involved through The work-wise Foundation, attending with their apprentices and graduates to talk to young people and those who educate and influence them about the opportunities and careers open to them. Nine years on, some of those previous visitors are attending as apprentices and graduates and telling their own stories and inspiring others.

Liberty Speciality Steels HR Director, Mick Hood comments “We continue to support the Get up to Speed event because it is a fantastic way of raising awareness among young people, teachers and parents of the exciting opportunities on offer by choosing an engineering or science-based career - like those we offer in our apprenticeship training programme. Each year the event gets bigger and better and I’m sure this year will be no different.”

Talking about the 2019 event, John Barber CEO of the work-wise Foundation and Chair of the Get up to Speed Steering Group for the past nine years explains “Get up to Speed is free to visit and is designed to inspire and inform through a wide range of hands on activities, showcasing many different businesses from traditional to advanced technologies, plus support and educational organisations. This year we are showcasing the whole breadth of what the region has to offer, from traditional tool manufacturing to aerospace; sports technologies to construction. This year we have even added a space zone! We live in a fantastic region for innovation, design, engineering and manufacturing, with some amazing opportunities for our young people – they just need to know about them and how to access the them!

There will be the chance to have a go on lots of things, including Virtual Reality Welding, CNC Machining, a visit to our National Space Centre Dome, Virtual and Augmented reality, acoustic science and technology, Formula 1 and flight simulators and a Coyote Reconnaissance Vehicle. There is event an Apollo 50 Moonbase, designed and delivered by students from the Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy at Sheffield University.

Recognising the importance of those who influence young people’s choices, we will also be running teacher awareness seminars on the day, so they can take back to school knowledge, labour market information and practical activities to spread the word further.”

The day gets underway with a Business Breakfast and panel debate sponsored by Elevation Recruitment Group, “One small step….” which will focus on how we encourage more young people into the industry, take that first step, help them succeed and become indispensable employees. Guests will hear from speakers at different stages in their own career journey and their thoughts on what role industry has to play in making this happen.

The day and business breakfast are free to attend and open to young people, families, individuals, schools and employers.