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Industry Day Engineering brings local employers into the classroom

5th December 2009

Photograph of Industry Day Engineering brings local employers into the classroom

Young people at Thurso, Wick, Golspie and Farr High Schools learned about the engineering sector during a series of industry days organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Part of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) North of Scotland initiative, the days were held in partnership with local employers, North Highland College and Skills Development Scotland. Students met representatives from Rolls-Royce, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, Nuvia, Johnson Controls and T3UK/JGC Engineering.

The industry days are an opportunity for young people to learn more about how to prepare written applications, for interviews and to discover their options in pursuing a career in the engineering sector.

Employers involved in the day gave advice on filling out application forms in small groups. Short practise interviews gave the pupils a chance to experience a trial run before they have to put their communication skills into practice in a real life situation.

John Owens, HR Manager at Rolls-Royce Vulcan, commented: "You will only ever have your first interview once so it is very important that students attend days like these so they can be prepared for when it really matters."

A panel of STEM Ambassadors from Rolls-Royce, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, Nuvia and Johnson Controls shared their experiences with the pupils, including apprentices who gave an insight into what being an apprentice is really like.

The STEM Ambassador programme, run by HIE as part of the STEM North of Scotland Initiative, sees volunteers from local companies visiting schools and helping to make science, technology and mathematics lessons more engaging and relevant for young people. In the Highlands and Islands area, 280 STEM Ambassadors from different subject areas and qualification levels are currently working as role models for young people.

Careers advisors from Skills Development Scotland and the North Highland College gave helpful guidance on routes into different engineering sectors and information on engineering related study opportunities with UHI and local colleges.

Donna Chisholm, STEM director at HIE, says: "We are delighted that so many local employers and guidance staff have used this opportunity to meet young people and give them an insight into their options in the world of engineering."

The STEM North of Scotland Partnership ( is a grouping of six local authorities, UHI Millennium Institute, the Open University, Skills Development Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The Partnership works to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), with the aim of ensuring young people know more about the importance of STEM subjects in the world around them. In particular in energy, ICT, life sciences, finance and business and food and drink - key employment sectors in the North of Scotland.

Industry Day Engineering 24/11/09 - left to right: Liam Elder, Peter Sangster, Keanna Jardine, Alan Ogg (North Highland College), Beth Henderson, Jasmine Cameron, Chelsea Somerville. Thurso High School
Picture Angus Mackay -


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