A record number of students have been welcomed to the Emirates Stadium to meet the UK’s largest and innovative companies to mark Your Future Your Ambition (YFYA) 5th annual STEM event.
Over 900 school children and young people attended YFYA Creating Bright Futures to meet science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) professionals from Cisco, BP, EDF Energy, P&G and 23 other companies. They were able to see how STEM is applied to everyday life; and the endless opportunities to get a job and make a difference within STEM.
Opening the day, Jaz Rabadia MBE, Senior Manager of Energy & Initiatives at Starbucks said, “I think we as STEM practitioners have a real duty to reach out to the next generation and ignite that spark in them. It’s great to see so many volunteers and organisations here showcasing the best of what STEM has to offer. Let’s show them that STEM is not just spanners, lab coats and boilers suits, but more about problem solving, team work and creativity and making a genuine difference to the world. Today you will create 1000 brighter futures and this is just the beginning. I’ve engineered my future, you’ve engineered your future, lets help 1000 students engineer theirs!”
Attendees took part in activities and interactive workshops designed to show them where their STEM subjects can take them, from coding sessions with Barclays Digital Eagles, understanding the safety of the Internet and experiencing the classroom of the future with Cisco, demonstrations of wearable technology with Accenture, learning the science behind P&G’s everyday global brands, digital forensic with City of London Police to inventing the next best-selling electronic gadget with EDF Energy’s research and development team.
Student from Henry Ford primary school said “It’s been amazing, really fun; we’re here in the Arsenal stadium. I learned how to code, which helps me for the future.”
Over 300 STEM professionals were on hand to share their experience and advice about the exciting career opportunities. A senior manager from National Grid was impressed with the level of enthusiasm by a number of students in attendance; he hired an undergraduate on the spot for their graduate scheme.
Fiona Jackson, Head of Strategic Resourcing at EDF Energy “EDF Energy was really proud to support such a great event again this year as it’s so important more young people take STEM subjects in their continuing education. The organising team has done a great job as this event grows ever more successful and I encourage other employers needing STEM skills for the future to participate next year”.
Paul Reed, CEO IST at BP “YFYA is a great platform for BP to encourage students to pursue an education in STEM subjects which in turn creates so many great professional development opportunities for them and a much needed talent pool for a range of jobs in BP.”
Yalina Gonnella, Senior Scientist at P&G “YFYA offers young people a spark for possibilities without limits. It’s about planting seeds of what they can achieve through STEM. It also offers them the opportunity to engage professionals from STEM industries who can offer insight and motivation.”
Ranil Jayawardena MP “It’s great to see companies working collaboratively through the ‘Your Future, Your Ambition’ initiative to attract and excite children and young people into the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). With YFYA’s continued work, both on this and other initiatives, we aim to help bridge the UK’s STEM skills shortage and give every child the very best opportunity to succeed in these fields.”
Tunji Akintokun, Director at Cisco and Founder and Director of YFYA, ” Your Future Your Ambition 2016 has been phenomenon, we’ve seen a record number of children and young people inspired, excited and engaged in STEM subjects. I can’t even express the thanks we have for all of the companies that have taken part who have put on a phenomenal amount of quality activities providing very much needed STEM skills. We do need to get more children and young people engaged in STEM subjects, but also more importantly raise awareness around all of the different STEM jobs and all the sectors requiring STEM skills. Just taking an early look at the feedback forms 85% of the students that attended would consider a career in STEM; this is a step in the right direction. However we recognise there is still a long way to go to bridge the UK’s STEM skills gap, especially in Digital skills. It is our responsibility as a country, companies and individuals to tackle this issue head on through initiatives such as YFYA. Over the next few months we will be reaching out to more companies to ensure we are able to engage more students to the exciting opportunities in STEM related careers.”
Rashada Harry, Director of YFYA “Initiatives like Your Future , Your Ambition are important in showing the younger generation not only the types of roles available across STEM-based industries, but that people with diverse backgrounds are valuable and also hold senior positions in leading STEM organisations. Visibility of this gives young people something to aspire to in terms of the types of organisation they hope to work for, the type of careers they can lead and the types of global organisations out there that want to support and encourage their development within their workforce.”
YFYA will return the Emirates Stadium in March 2017. There are a number of ways to get involved, for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlights from the day are available to download via the link here
YFYA an award winning initiative developed to inspire, excite and engage diverse talent in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) through Experiences, Exposure and Education.
For more information, visit www.yourfutureyourambition.com