By Harrison Burridge
Swindon youngsters in the Spotlight
Education Business Partnership, in partnership with Study Higher, are holding their fifth ‘Spotlight on Careers’ event at STEAM, Swindon on 17 May starting at 11am. Local secondary schools/colleges have been invited to bring along a selection of students for an inspiring and challenging day, focusing on the IT, Technology and Finance sectors. Study Higher is a collaborative partnership of universities and further education colleges, led by Oxford Brookes University, and funded by the Office for Students as part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme. Study Higher works collaboratively on a wide range of outreach activities with targeted schools and colleges across Swindon, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire to highlight opportunities within higher education for young people. Lucinda Morton, Head of Study Higher stated, “Swindon is a particular focus area for Study Higher, with several key initiatives in place to support students, teachers and parents as they develop thoughts and plans about what to do after leaving full time education. “We have a fantastic team of 4 Higher Education Liaison Officers working closely with schools to support their students with their options after they finish their studies. Our goal is to ensure that every young person in Swindon has the knowledge and tools to progress into whatever future they want - whether that be a university course, an apprenticeship, or another form of education/training. Alongside delivering a range of bespoke activities in schools, the Higher Education Liaison Officers are also busy signposting students towards a variety of different opportunities - including the Spotlight event - to support this endeavour.” Emily Cannon, Study Higher Liaison Manager said: "EBP were delighted to receive funding from Study Higher at the beginning of the year to deliver four ‘Spotlight’ programmes in each of the following locations; Swindon, Reading, Aylesbury and Oxford/Banbury." Each ‘Spotlight’ focuses on a business sector where there is evidence of skills gaps. Swindon youngsters have so far benefited from four insightful sessions, over the last five months, focusing on Engineering, Healthcare, Business, IT and Technology. The Study Higher Partner Higher Education Institutions have attended all of the Spotlight events and given presentations that have focused on the courses they offer at their university based on the Spotlight sector. They also provide students with information on the application process, University life and how to prepare for University. Lesley Stewart, EBP Project Officer, added: “The programme has been really successful in the Swindon area. Across the whole programme so far, nearly 700 students have gained invaluable insights into the working world. Young people have had the opportunity to spend time with businesses, understand and experience work-based challenges and find out more about different career paths. It’s important that young people understand the varied routes from school, via higher education, into these well paid and important sectors.” Volunteer Kinga, from Milestones Trust, said: “This adventure with Spotlight has made me learn something new about young people and something new about myself, it has been great to enthuse and inspire the next generation, allowing young people to look at all the opportunities out there available to them.” To find out more about the Study Higher programme or to contact the local Swindon team, www.studyhigher.ac.uk or call 01865 488460. To find out more about the ‘Spotlight on Careers’ programme or about what EBP do visit www.educationbusinesspartnership.co.uk or phone on 01635 279900.