Virtual event helps young people find opportunities in STEM

A 'Generation Stevenage' event was held to inform young people about opportunities available in STEM. Picture: Spitfire PR

A 'Generation Stevenage' event was held to inform young people about opportunities available in STEM. Picture: Spitfire PR - Credit: Archant

Around 650 young people from Stevenage and surrounding areas attended a virtual event to find out how to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

A 'Generation Stevenage' event was held to inform young people about opportunities available in STEM. Picture: Spitfire PR

A 'Generation Stevenage' event was held to inform young people about opportunities available in STEM. Picture: Spitfire PR - Credit: Archant

Local employers including MBDA, Airbus, GSK, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst took part in the Generation Stevenage event on Tuesday, December 1.

Pupils age 15 to 18 from over 65 schools and colleges, as well as their parents, carers and teachers, joined the event to find out how they can apply for jobs and apprenticeships in science, technology, healthcare, defence and space.

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami also attended, while representatives from each organisation made a three-minute pitch to viewers saying why they should consider applying to work for their business.

In live polls during the event, 61 per cent said they love science, technology and maths and talk about them a lot at home, while 72 per cent said they were keen to find out more about STEM events.

Adrian Hawkins, chair of Stevenage Development Board, at the Generation Stevenage virtual event. Picture: Spitfire PR

Adrian Hawkins, chair of Stevenage Development Board, at the Generation Stevenage virtual event. Picture: Spitfire PR - Credit: Archant

Early career leads and apprentices also talked through their experiences and answered questions directly from the audience in a series of breakout sessions.

Stevenage Development Board chair Adrian Hawkins said this demonstrated “significant interest” among young people and that he was hopeful the event would come back to the town for an even bigger event next year, possibly in person.

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He said: “Skills development is central to Stevenage’s Town Investment Plan and its narrative for improving lifelong learning and levelling up in the town.

“Generation Stevenage, and other events like this, send a very clear message to our young people that they are part of their town’s exciting future.”

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami spoke at the Generation Stevenage event. Picture: Spitfire PR

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami spoke at the Generation Stevenage event. Picture: Spitfire PR - Credit: Archant

The event was delivered in partnership with Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP), The Careers and Enterprise Company, Stevenage Development Board and educational charity Stempoint East. It was jointly funded by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Stevenage Borough Council, and endorsed by apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan.

A recording of the event will shortly be available to view on www.hopinto.co.uk/generation-stevenage.

Sibylle Bliedung, early careers programme support/outreach coordinator at Airbus, spoke at the Generation Stevenage event.

Sibylle Bliedung, early careers programme support/outreach coordinator at Airbus, spoke at the Generation Stevenage event. Picture: Spitfire PR - Credit: Archant

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