Students go behind the scenes at Babcock

Skills Aid Plymouth event at BabcockOne of Plymouth’s biggest employers has opened its doors to a group of 20 young people as part of the Skills Aid Plymouth (SAP) scheme.

The students were given the chance to learn about marine engineering through a series of team challenges. It’s hoped the students will have gained a better understanding of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers.

SAP was piloted last year to give some of Plymouth’s young people extra support. It’s a joint project between Plymouth City Council and Plymouth’s Rotary Clubs, which have provided the majority of the volunteer mentors working on the scheme. It is designed to help pupils understand and gain important employability skills which will improve their chances in an increasingly competitive job market and broaden their career options.

Skills Aid Plymouth event at BabcockEach young person has been assigned a personal mentor who will accompany them on a series of nine business-led visits hosted by local organisations. The mentors, who have been recruited on a voluntary basis from the ranks of Rotary and the business sector, have all undergone a programme of training to mentor young people in education.

The schools taking part this year are Sir John Hunt and Eggbuckland Community College. Both schools have selected 10 students most likely to benefit from the scheme.

Councillor Sue McDonald, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Public Health said: “What a great opportunity for our young people. I really hope that experiences like this will encourage more girls to think about careers in STEM. I’m really pleased that we are able to offer our young people who need a little extra support fantastic experiences like this.”

Chris Tomkins, Director and General Manager at Babcock said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to show how exciting and fun real engineering can be. Hopefully we can encourage more and more young people in our community to consider a career in STEM, if not with Babcock then with other organisations both locally and nationally.’’

An additional feature of this year’s Skills Aid is the introduction of the Employability Passport. This will enable the students to receive endorsements of their employability skills gained from each of the businesses they visit.

The SAP scheme was launched in September at Plymouth Argyle, followed by a visit to Dartmoor Zoo.