Speed networking showcases STEM careers at the MTI

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Seventy school pupils from across the region have interviewed more than 30 ambassadors from automotive and engineering businesses at a speed networking event at the MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) designed to inspire them with ideas for future careers.

Volunteer ambassadors from a range of businesses including HORIBA MIRA, Evera Recruitment and Intrepid Control Systems talked to the pupils about their job roles and encouraged them to consider careers within a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) environment. The event, which was attended by Bill Cullin, Chief Executive of Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, and Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council’s Mayor Cllr Martin Walsh, culminated in a tour of the test track at MIRA’s 100km Proving Ground. In a survey following the event, nine out of ten pupils who attended said they would consider STEM careers.

Quickfire meetings lasting just seven minutes gave pupils aged 12-14 the chance to find out about the career routes available to them and businesses were able to raise their profile with their future potential workforce. Pupils said that they really enjoyed exploring the MTI’s workshops, meeting real-life employers so they could understand the career options available to them, and also meeting women working in the sector. The event was supported by Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council via the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership’s Covid-19 economic recovery fund.

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Lisa Bingley, Operations Director for the MTI said, “The engineering and technology sectors are changing like never before with new job roles emerging all the time thanks to the pace of digitalisation and burgeoning technologies such as automation and robotics, AI and machine learning. We find that introducing pupils to future career possibilities helps to inspire them with ideas about careers while their ideas are being formed. We have found that introducing them to potential future employers helps to clarify their interests at an early stage.”

Speed networking at the MTISpeed networking at the MTI
Speed networking at the MTI

Sarah Windrum, Future Mobility Cluster Lead at HORIBA MIRA said, “These pupils have been given such a valuable insight into career possibilities and this event has switched them on to some inspirational ideas. It was especially heartening to hear one pupil describe my role as ‘building a brighter future.”

James Speller, Business Manager at Evera Recruitment said, “I was pleased to hear from one student who told me that he wanted to become a mechanical engineer which was a new concept for him that he had only just heard about from a colleague at this event.”

Students from six schools including Higham Lane School, Hastings High School and Redmoor Academy said that they had enjoyed hearing about the wide range of job roles available in engineering, how the industry works, and the possibilities of following an apprenticeship.

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The MTI’s unique Skills Escalator is the first of its kind in the UK where students and delegates can progress naturally through the levels within the same institution. Since it first opened its doors, the MTI has welcomed over 48,200 students and delegates. This includes over 3,600 studying for accredited qualifications from a Level 1 Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) certificate up to Masters’ degrees, and over 880 apprenticeships at all levels. More than 18,200 automotive professionals have taken part in professional development activities.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chair of the MTI Operations Board, and Principal and Chief Executive North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “This type of event brings careers advice to life in the best possible way. Hearing about the challenges that they could be working on really inspires them and raises pupils’ aspirations. We are grateful to all the businesses whose ambassadors took part and helped to make this event a reality.”

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