The Big Bang @ Solent, a large an interactive STEM careers fair organised by EBP South, took place Thursday 26th April at Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, and all Portsmouth Schools were invited.
Over 700 11– to 16-year-olds from across the South were inspired by 60 businesses to consider a career in STEM industries. It is one of the biggest STEM fairs on the South Coast.
Some of the interactive activities provided by the companies included; using a T Hotbox to remove dents from a car panel with Apollo; a real time hacking event and password cracking competition with Kingfisher IT Services; taking selfies with thermal imaging cameras with Leonardo and extracting DNA from fruit with University of Portsmouth's Faculty of Science.
By allowing young people to try the activities it gave them an understanding of the different job roles in STEM industries.
Megan a student from The Portsmouth Academy said “I enjoyed learning about jobs that I didn’t know about and I was inspired to work harder in school.”
Jacquie Jones, EBP South Project Manager said, “There are many moments where you see young people succeed in the activity and truly start to believe they could do that job.”
Businesses were invited to exhibit for free giving them an opportunity to bridge the skills gap as many businesses say they cannot recruit enough staff locally to fill STEM related posts.
Cdr Shaughnessy said “Events like this are particularly important, not just for a career within the within the Royal Navy, but for getting young people to become enthused by STEM and to see the whole range of opportunities that are open to them.
The Royal Navy is powered by a tremendous array of technology and we need all of our future generation of engineers to be inspired by coming and seeing the whole range of IT and technology that we have.”
For business with at least a 5-year recruitment plan, events like these are essential to developing their future pipeline. Some of the students may only be a year away from becoming an apprentice or a few years away from being an employee.
“An excellent and informative day. Pupils asked to stay longer after lunch and thoroughly enjoyed the activities. Thank you.” Joanna, Head of Faculty for Humanities Priory School.
All schools across Portsmouth, Southampton, Fareham, Gosport, Eastleigh and New Forest were invited to attend the free event as part of the services provided by EBP South to help all schools meet the requirements of the Careers Strategy and the Gatsby benchmarks.