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Get Ahead event highlights STEM career opportunities

Organisers have hailed an event to highlight career opportunities linked to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) a success, after more than 200 young people and their parents attended the ‘Get Ahead’ event hosted at University Technical College Norfolk (UTCN). 

The aim of the event was to give Norfolk pupils and their parents an opportunity to find out how a STEM education can provide outstanding career opportunities. 

Nationally it is estimated that an additional 700,000 STEM technicians will be needed to meet employer demand in the decade to 2024.  To help meet this demand, there were more than 112,000 STEM apprenticeship starts in 2016/17.[i]

More than 25 leading Norfolk employers with high quality STEM-related career opportunities were in attendance. 

The companies included well-known employers in the county such as Aviva, R G Carter, KLM UK Engineering Limited, Morgan Sindall, NPS Group, Opito, Safe STS, Seajacks, Vattenfall, Warren Services and many others. 

Representatives from the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy were also on hand to showcase the many opportunities available to engineers within the air force and navy.

Apprenticeships Norfolk, along with Mason Trust ICANBEA, provided information and advice on apprenticeship opportunities with the wide spectrum of employers locally who are on the lookout for school and college leavers with STEM-based skills and qualifications.      

From financial services to construction, offshore energy generation to aviation engineering, the event highlighted the huge diversity of outstanding career opportunities available to those with a STEM education.  

In addition to talking to employers and apprentices, and taking part in hands-on activities, the event gave visitors the chance to hear from industry experts through a series of talks about STEM careers and how to access these opportunities.

Speakers included Yvonne Mason, chair of UTCN’s successful Industry Liaison Group, Alex Hayes, principal of UTCN, and Chris Sargisson, CEO of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

Yvonne Mason, chair of UTCN’s Industry Liaison Group, commented:

‘‘The driving force for this event came from the 40 plus employers who make up our Industry Liaison Group. They were absolutely determined to let parents and students know about the huge range of apprenticeship opportunities that are out there. From Level 2 to Level 7, there are apprenticeships suitable for everyone and they are a very real alternative to remaining in full-time education.  Feedback from attendees clearly demonstrated the interest in, and the need for, advice on technical careers and the UTCN style of education.”

[i] National Audit Office, (2018), Delivering STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills for the economy, Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, HC 716 SESSION 2017–2019 17 JANUARY 2018. URL: https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Delivering-STEM-Science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-skills-for-the-economy.pdf