Curtins commit to further school engagement in 2018

The world of work is constantly evolving in line with the technological and industry advancements that historically have and will continue to shape the future of our economy. From these developments, the opportunities for our young people are becoming more diverse and the need to prepare young people for their future careers has never been more significant.

Within Science and Technology related sectors such as Engineering, we as a profession are struggling to find sufficient new talent to meet the demand. The British Chamber of Commerce recently quantified this statement by claiming that there will be a shortfall of more than 100,000 workers in our industry by 2050.

Schools are the foundation to equipping our young people with the skills and abilities to succeed and make a demonstrable impact in the workplace. One of the key areas that has grown into its own agenda is the STEM skills gap and with it careers advice around STEM related occupations.

Consequences of lack of resources, high workload and unestablished networks of support through businesses have carved institutional barriers for schools that must be re-addressed to safeguard a collaborative and skilled society.

We as a business have taken steps to towards change, through developing relationships with schools through the communities in which we work. By having designated STEM ambassadors, comprised of 50% men and 50% women, in each of our 14 offices across the UK we are championing equality and females in STEM and Engineering. By consulting with schools and analysing their needs in terms of support, we deliver bespoke sessions which range from one off events, to ongoing programmes delivered as part of the curriculum.

Through formalising our approach to educational engagement, we have built relationships with both primary and secondary schools to inform and educate about STEM subjects, challenging any preconceived ideas teachers and students may have. Unfortunately, the feedback from our interaction has demonstrated that there is an inherent lack of awareness around the career opportunities associated with STEM subjects.

However, by actively engaging with schools we aim to reaffirm the importance of STEM subjects and contemporary career advice within the curriculum to students. We also aim to highlight the impact that decisions made early on in a student’s school life can have on their careers, as well as providing teachers with the information and confidence to deliver careers education.

Rebecca King is the designated Learning & Development Manager here at Curtins, for more information on our commitment to People Learning & Development, please see here.