We are getting out and about in Kent to talk opportunities, STEM and Apprenticeships to schools as part of their Career Fairs. This is our first venture of this kind and we have been overwhelmed, not just by the interest schools have shown, but by the heartfelt interest received by the students themselves.
Why do we bother ?
Simple, because these are our next generation of business leaders, politicians, industrialists, decision makers and we want to do everything we can to help them understand even our tiny part of ‘the real world’.
It’s a big step from school to job or further education; from employment to career development; and from management to leadership.
Joe Forsyth (MD, JGF Electrical): “My Grandad was my mentor. He guided me into this incredible world of electronics. He encouraged me to take up an Apprenticeship – and not ‘just to turn up’, but to learn and soak up every ounce of learning that was to become my skill. His was the grounding in me that we hope to instil in others.”
Back to scholarly basics and the values of STEM as school subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths. They are unpleasant basics to some, but essential if you want to throw that switch and watch the machines of British Industry turn.
We asked Isabelle Haigh, former Head of Operations, National Grid and friend of science, technology and the values of women in industry, what she felt about this initiative. She said: “Being the first female engineer in the control room 30 years ago was quite daunting at the time, but I was delighted to be doing a job that I loved, and in a great National Grid environment too.”
STEM, STEAM & ALLL
We asked Isabelle about the importance of STEM in schools and, despite her pure Science & Engineering qualifications, she added the ‘A’ in the acronym for Arts.
STEM focuses explicitly on the hard scientific, technological, engineering, or mathematical skills to drive progress or create a new concept. In STEAM, students employ both hard and soft skills to solve problems.
Isabelle says: “I would encourage anyone who is curious, likes to solve problems and enjoys the sense of achievement that comes with ‘creating things’, to consider a career in engineering. Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop skills needed for a successful career whilst being paid! What a great opportunity that I wish had been available when I was doing my training.”
Apprenticeship opportunities are open to practically all, in all commercial and engineering disciplines. Focusing on the Electrical Industry – think about it … you put your order in to Amazon and it arrives the next day – HOW?
Well, join us and find out but, knowledge and skill are literally only half the battle. A good Apprenticeship will teach you about YOU.
It will develop your personality and channel your human skills into project work, operating and interacting as a team. For some, that’s a massive step, a leap across a scary chasm between school and work.
A good Apprenticeship (combining you, your college and your employer) will help you manage those steps and become a better person for doing so.
We have developed our own acronym, which covers those early days of your Apprenticeship out there on the front line – ALLL.
- Ask – and you will be told.
- Look – and you will see.
- Listen – and you will hear.
- Learn – and you will achieve.
It’s not rocket science – but of course it could be.
The opportunities are enormous, the stars could well be yours.