Young people and employers from across Torbay are benefitting from Futureworks, a Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal funded programme which has created a beneficial relationship between schools and employers to invest resource into STEM subjects and careers. In Torbay, the South West Peninsula City Deal along with TDA funded the manufacturing-focused MADE project. MADE, Manufacturing Activities Designed to Engage, is a series of activities designed to inspire, motivate and engage participants in STEM.
Through a variety of interactions, the Torbay MADE project has supported over 2,000 students, partnering with 14 Torbay and South Devon schools and engaged with 66 teachers, 38 manufacturing businesses and 174 STEM Ambassadors over the two-year period. STEM events, which were delivered as part of the project, included TechBay and the Manufacturing Challenge. TechBay was supported by 25 businesses and attended by 420 students, of which over a third were female, from 12 schools and colleges. The second, MADE Manufacturing Challenge final saw six schools, with the support of their business partners, present their products to a panel of independent judges. The Spires College partnered with Spirent Communications were crowned the overall winners.
Deborah Passmore, Partnership Executive at TDA, said: “With much of students’ learning taking place in the classroom, the events and visits to local companies is a great way of connecting schools and employers while inspiring young people in a career in engineering. “Torbay has a thriving hi tech sector and this project raises the awareness of the tech sector to schools, encouraging engagement with students to ensure future availability of local talent within the Bay. There are opportunities within the manufacturing and hi tech industries locally for apprentices or graduates and we’re showcasing these to students in our schools.”
Over the course of the two-year programme, which is to be extended to September 2019, Futureworks has positively engaged with 4,800 young people across the south west, covering 249 schools and 205 STEM-focused businesses.
Patrick Hartop, Head of City Deal at Plymouth City Council said: “The Futureworks and Personalised Mentors Network Programmes of work have both been a great success. We know very well that young people who engage with the world of business on a regular basis while at school see a real benefit in their future career prospects and that is exactly what we are trying to achieve through these programmes.
“Young people, teachers and businesses have all embraced the Futureworks programme with a level of enthusiasm that is encouraging to see and bodes well for the future of our marine and manufacturing industries here in the south west.”