Local employers Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Airbus partnered with education and employers to host an event aimed at inspiring young people to pursue a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).
Seeking to tackle the underrepresentation of women in particular in STEM roles, 40 pupils from four schools including Queen’s Park High School and Christleton International Studio heard talks from volunteers from both firms about the range of careers that are available in the financial services and aerospace sectors through an inspirational talk and speed networking session.
The event, held at Storyhouse in Chester on Wednesday, November 29, was led by the Education and Employers charity as part of their Inspiring the Future programme. Inspiring the Future was launched in the UK in summer 2012. To date, almost 85% of state schools have registered together with nearly 35,000 volunteers from over 10,000 organisations. The initiative was developed following extensive consultation with a range of stakeholders – employers, education, government, third sector and intermediaries.
Inspiring the Future connects teachers and volunteers through a secure website. Teachers can select people who best meet the needs of their students from a range of sectors and professions, and invite them to the school to talk to the students. In addition, volunteers can select a number of areas of expertise that might be of interest to student – e.g. apprenticeships, enterprise, maths, financial literacy, languages, engineering and technology etc.
Addressing the participants at the event, Andrea Litherland, head of EMEA Cyber Security Defense at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: “We are extremely proud of our involvement in Inspiring the Future. Around half our EMEA employees are Technologists – and we pride ourselves on being at the cutting edge of tech innovation. Events such as this, provide a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of the huge variety of career paths available for young people in STEM, so that we can build a pipeline of diverse talent.”
CEO of Education and Employers Nick Chambers said: “We want to ensure that all young people are aware of the vast range of jobs and career routes open to them by giving them the chance to meet volunteers from the world of work. This is of crucial importance when tackling the under-representation of women in STEM sectors and with the support of employers such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Airbus we can achieve this.”