Seven hundred young learners from throughout Gloucestershire- with their parents-are being invited to an event in the county aimed at inspiring them to ‘Energise’ their futures.
The one day event on Wednesday May 25 is aimed at inspiring young people and raising awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) jobs and careers in Gloucestershire and the South West region.
Entitled ‘Energise Your Future’, the event is the result of a partnership between Business West, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, the University of Gloucestershire, Magnox and Horizon Nuclear Power.
Parents are also being invited to the day at the developing Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park, situated on the site of the former Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories on the banks of the River Severn.
Over 30 companies will be showcasing the job opportunities they have to offer the STEM students. The day will run into the evening (4 - 7pm) so parents and older students can talk to the companies about apprenticeships and job opportunities.
The setting for the event at the new science park alongside the UK’s first commercial nuclear reactor(now decommissioned),and in the sight of Oldbury, earmarked to become one of the new generation of energy providers for the UK with Horizon, will add further inspiration to the day.
Kevin Hamblin, chief executive of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, which is developing the Berkeley Green student campus, said: “Fifty years ago, Berkeley was home to one of the newest industries in the world. More scientists were based at Berkeley than anywhere else in the South West as the region tried to discover the secrets of producing the most efficient commercial nuclear power station.
“Nuclear power generation is now common place. But Berkeley has a new role-the development of talent to work in two new sectors-Advanced Manufacturing and Cyber Security.
“Like 50 years ago, the techniques and approaches to both these sectors are still being developed and will form the basis of the county’s prosperity over the next 50 years.”
He added: “These two sectors are on the verge of a boom.
”Berkeley is gearing up to introduce, educate and facilitate young people into well paid, secure jobs in these sectors. We will welcome the first cohort of 14-19s in September 2017—very exciting for our young people”.
Ian Mean, Director of Business West for Gloucestershire, which is organising the event with the college at the new £5 million Gloucestershire Science & Technology Park, commented: “This is the age of the engineer-girls as well as boys.
“The new Berkeley campus will be a great launch pad for our engineers and technicians of the future. They will have brilliant careers and help to restore Gloucestershire’s heritage for producing highly skilled engineers. Their opportunity will literally be the world.”
The University of Gloucestershire are also partners in the event, and Vice Chancellor Stephen Marston, added: “This new facility at Berkeley offers a great opportunity for more young people to train in the area of cyber security and become equipped with the latest thinking and techniques to help protect the businesses of tomorrow.
“As well as offering degrees in cyber security, the University of Gloucestershire’s School of Computing and Technology also works with local and national partners to offer business focused solutions to solve cyber challenges facing businesses.”
The Berkeley site has played a key role in the development of the nuclear industry for around 60 years, with two nuclear reactors next door to the Laboratories generating electricity safely between 1962 and 1989.
“Decommissioning of the power station site still has some way to go before it can be released for future development, but the Laboratories site is already entering into its next incarnation”, said Mike Heaton, Closure Director at Berkeley.
Horizon, which has its headquarters at Gloucester Business Park, is also supporting the event. The company will be developing the proposed new nuclear power station at nearby Oldbury-on-Severn in the coming years.
Horizon’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Helen Grundy, said: “To help us build and operate a new generation of nuclear power stations we will need a talented and diverse team with the right skills.
“We want to inspire the next generation about STEM subjects and are pleased to support this event. A new nuclear power station at Oldbury will offer high quality, long-term employment and we want to make sure that local young people have the right kind of skills to take advantage of these opportunities in the future.”
For more information on the event, or to book your place, visit www.energiseyourfuture-evening.eventbrite.co.uk