University Technical College Norfolk (UTCN) and Warren Services in Thetford set up a virtual school trip so that students could visit the workplace from the safety of their sofa.
“It is an important part of our job to prepare our 15 year-old aspiring engineers for life in the industry, to enable them to talk to someone already doing the job, to talk to business owners to find out what they are looking for in new recruits, to see what the workplace looks like, and to ask questions. Warren Services found a way to support our students to learn more about work, their commitment to supporting our young people will inspire engineers of the future.” explained Sophie Skipp, Industrial Liaison Group Co-ordinator at UTCN.
“This would normally entail visits by our students to local industries. However, in the present circumstances, we were faced with two choices. We could put our work with employers on hold until life gets back to normal, or we could innovate. We chose the latter, and brought one of the members of our Industrial Liaison Group into our students’ homes.”
The company which made this happen was Warren Services, a Thetford based business that manufactures a wide range of high quality components and complex mechanical and electrical sub-assemblies.
Sophie continues, “On 07 July, our Year 10s experienced a virtual school visit to Warren Services. They took part in a video tour of the premises and were able to participate in question and answer sessions with a number of Warren Services employees to learn how an engineering business works and the type of jobs available in this sector. Current Warren Services apprentice, Josh Fowler gave advice to UTCN students regarding gaining relevant work experience while still in education.”
“The virtual tour was a great way of staying connected with our possible future workforce during these difficult times,” says Will Bridgman, Warren Services’ Chairman. “We would normally have a lot of learners on site either on work experience placements or having school tours. The virtual tour meant that we could continue to have that connection with UTCN learners without having them physically on site.”
UTCN’s vision is to develop tomorrow’s engineering, computing and science professionals and it works closely with local and national employers and UEA to achieve this aim.