Published: 16/02/2013 09:00

Helping teenagers get into work at racecourse

Written byBY JENNY MOODY

AN exciting new event aimed at giving young people vital work experience in science, technology, engineering and maths is set to be held in Uttoxeter.

Staffordshire’s Youth Action Kouncil (YAK) will be presenting Staffordshire TeenTech, an interactive careers event for 13 and 14 year olds, at Uttoxeter Racecourse on March 12.

The event is supported by Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire STEM Centre.

It will give young people the chance to engage in a series of tasks and challenges to get a feel for the world of work, especially in manufacturing.

YAK has specifically chosen the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sector as the platform for a range of hands-on experiences, using cutting edge technology to inspire and engage.

Working along Staffordshire STEM Centre, the event will bring local STEM companies and a network of specialised ambassadors together to work directly with young people.

Companies already signed up include Rolls-Royce, Florette, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Perkins Engines, Active Robots and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue.

YAK chairman Alex Hylton, 17, said: “I’m really looking forward to the event. It’s a great example of YAK working with Staffordshire County Council and the Staffordshire STEM Centre to provide a solution to an issue affecting a great number of young people in Staffordshire.

“TeenTech is going to be all about providing another option to young people, allowing them to gather all the information they need to decide upon a career and ask all the questions to leading industry professionals.

“Science and Technology is a vital part of the 21st century world, and it is essential that Britain builds a generation of inspired scientists and mathematicians, that’s why we’ve brought TeenTech to Staffordshire, so that Staffordshire’s young people can be a major part of that innovating generation.”

County Councillor Mike Lawrence, cabinet member for children’s wellbeing said: “Helping young people gain essential skills for when they enter the world of work is vital.

“Young people need access to as much information as possible so they can make informed decisions about their future, and gain the skills necessary to enter a competitive job market.

“This event ties in nicely with our City Deal bid. Amongst other things, if successful the bid will support the creation of an Education Trust to work in partnership with businesses, schools and colleges to ensure local people have access to the right training and learn the necessary skills to seize new job opportunities.

“The TeenTech event gives young people a chance to talk to people in the industry, find out more about the world of work, and see what skills they need. It really is a fantastic opportunity that all young people taking an interest in science, technology, engineering or maths should take advantage of.”

TeenTech has won several national and international awards for their work with young people, including Best Outreach and Communication for 2012 from WISE.

Founder Maggie Philbin says she is most proud of the effect the event has on young people and their teachers.

She said: “TeenTech is a powerful collaborative event which really makes a difference. It’s a chance for young people to see the real opportunities out there if they have the right skills. Schools and companies really value the lively but immersive day which fires the imagination and raises aspirations. People know me from Tomorrow’s World and I’m really keen for today’s teenagers to understand how they can be shaping and developing that world themselves.”

More information on TeenTech is available from Kate Roberts on 01785 895286 or by e-mailing teentech@staffordshire.gov.uk.

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