Industry and education unites to promote high-tech careers to young people

23 February 2017

A project aimed at inspiring young minds to consider the wide range of careers open to them - including high-tech careers in agriculture - was promoted at Hethersett Academy in Norfolk.


The link up involving Easton and Otley College, the New Anglia LEP and schools across the county aims to encourage more business people to volunteer as Enterprise Advisers


The idea is to bring new exciting technology from the farm world to the playgrounds of the region’s schools, with the aim of igniting an interest in the world of agriculture.


As part of this mission, a team from the college and New Anglia LEP came to Hethersett with a Dynamometer (an instrument that measures the power output of an engine) and a state of the art tractor, to give 11 to 16 year olds a hands-on experience of what they could expect if they were to pursue a career in farming.


Assistant Principal at Hethersett Academy, Claire Tilbury believes there are many strands to this project. She explains, “Whilst this event was all about farming, there is a bigger picture at play. We are keen to provide our students with a high level of understanding in relation to the county and the wider labour market. We are delighted to be working with Christina Sadler, our enterprise adviser, who is helping the academy staff to develop better links with a wide range of local businesses.


“We need to provide impartial careers advice and challenge gender stereotypes in a range of industries. The overall idea of the project is to provide our students (and others studying in Norfolk) with inspirational business encounters that are challenging, engaging and enjoyable that will help them build links with industry.”


This all came about on the back of an ‘enterprise for all project’ that was developed by Lord Young and the whole scheme is being supported by The National Careers and Enterprise Company, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils and NALEP.


Hannah Colledge, New Anglia Enterprise Co-ordinator, said, “The aim of this is to connect business leaders with senior leaders in schools so that this relationship can help motivate and inspire young people to improve their work prospects. We are looking for more volunteers like Christina Sadler to partner with schools and colleges. It is a very rewarding role helping young people understand the exciting opportunities open to them.”


Dani Chatten helped oversee this session with her colleague, Nick Armstrong (agricultural engineering lecturer). Dani, a schools engagement co-ordinator at Easton and Otley, said, “As a college we are very keen to reach out and make farming accessible and this is why we are delighted to be involved in this project. This was the first school visit of many.


“Careers in this industry are changing all the time and the technology that is coming into agriculture will need a mixture of talents to help drive the industry forward. We work with many schools in the region on a variety of different issues and it was a pleasure to be involved in this exciting project.”


One of the students from Hethersett was 13 year old Amy Grimes. She said, “I learnt about the tractor and how the dynamometer works. I don’t have a farming background but this is a career that interests me and the session made me want to get into it even more.”                                                         


Dean Palin, 13, “I don’t know what I want to do in the future but farming is what my family does and it is something that interests me.”

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