Frank Devine, SDS Careers Adviser at Uddingston Grammar School, tells us more about a recent event supporting teachers to encourage young people to consider STEM careers. ‘We understand the influential role teachers play in young people’s careers choices.
Part of our role as Scotland’s national careers service is to ensure we work closely with, and support teachers to, offer the support young people need to make informed career decisions. That was the main driver behind our recent Career Gap event. Working with South Lanarkshire Council’s Developing the Young Workforce co-ordinator as well as a group of local teachers, our aim was to give teachers across the area help to support pupils to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
More than 50 attended, from 18 local area secondary schools.
By tapping in to the wealth of expertise and knowledge on offer across SDS, we were able to offer a full day programme looking at the subject from a variety of angles – equalities, career management skills and employer need.
Our National Training Programmes team supported the day to raise awareness of the ways unconscious bias could be stopping some pupils, especially young women, progressing in STEM.
They brought in Improving Gender Balance Scotland project officer Charlotte Govan to give some cold hard numbers on subject uptake, and the impact that has further down on employment, as well as practical ways of combatting unconscious bias.
Our employer team helped to put us in touch with employers and apprentices to tell teachers their stories, offer ideas on support that could be helpful to pupils now, and talk about what it’s really like to work in STEM industries. BT, BAE and Scotland Energy and Utility Skills all attended on the day.
My colleague Donna Robertson and I were able to give more information on career management skills, career long professional learning modules we offer, the support resources available to teachers via My World of Work and more detail on SDS careers services in schools.
All the teachers who attended took away packs with more information on the support SDS offers, and we’ll be creating further lesson plans and resources to share with all the teachers who attended.
This wasn’t just a chance at CPD for teachers, but offered us the chance to develop the skills of young people from the area too. Recent graduate Stephen Benedetti lent his sound engineer skills for the podium and round table mics, and sixth year Uddingston pupil Adam McKibben snapped pictures for us on the day which were used on the SDS website and social media.
Partnership working was key to the success of the event, as it is to all the work SDS is involved in.
Donna and I are really proud of the strength of the partnerships we have here in South Lanarkshire. We work closely with all members of the school staff, including subject teachers, pastoral care teachers and the senior management team, the local authority and with partner organisations working within education and with our customers across the area.
It’s those strong partnerships that allow us to stage not just major one-off events like this, but to ensure day-to-day we are offering the best service we can to our customers.
Our recent Education Scotland review shows our hard work is paying off.
If you want to find out more about the support SDS can offer teachers, speak to your school careers adviser for latest information and events and find out about support resources we offer at My World of Work here.
You can also access CLPL modules on the Career Education Standard, labour market information, career management skills and My World of Work at this page.
Material World is a resource that has been developed for secondary schools, designed to use textiles as a medium for delivering learning outcomes related to the STEM, Circular Economy & Sustainability and Developing the Young Workforce agendas. The resource uses case studies of Scottish textile, leather and fashion companies to provide young people with a deeper understanding of the processes used, and products made in Scotland today. Themed activities are linked to the case studies to deepen their learning and skills analysis sheets link the learning through activities, to jobs in the sector.
The evaluation of a pilot with four Scottish Schools as well as resources, case studies and toolkits are contained within the Materials World resource pilot report ES
For more information and contact details please access the Interesting Practice in Skills DYW Textiles May 2017 summary sheet.
BBC Scotland Learning and the Glasgow Science Centre invite you to take part in a day of talks and activities to look at the future. There will be a live talk by Scotland’s leading scientists talking about robots, climate and health at the Science Centre on 8 May.
Dallas Campbell will host the event as he speaks to Prof Sethu Vijayakumar, Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics and a Judge on Robot Wars, Prof Lesley Yellowlees, who was the first ever female President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and geneticist Prof Kevin O’Dell from Glasgow University.
The talk will also be streamed live and you can talk to the expert panel online.
Find out more here.
Location: Perth College UHI
Date: Tuesday 13 Jun, 2017
The Big Bang Near Me programme plays a vital role in inspiring the UK’s future scientists and engineers at a regional, local and school level. We encourage more people to take these subjects, as well as celebrating young people’s achievements in science and engineering through displaying their STEM projects and letting them talk with engineers and scientists, face to face.
The UK needs many more scientists and engineers and equipping young people with skills in science, technology, engineering and maths is key to their future employability. Students attending a Near Me fair really enjoy themselves too – with nine out of ten rating the event they attended as “good” or “very good”.
Zones will include:
- Food and Drink
- Science and Maths
- Career Zone – Companies to provide careers advise in their sector.
- 15 minute presentation slots available to address small groups of young people.
There will also be a chance to experience a selection of STEM challenges available to schools including the ‘turbo charged’ National Final of the Bloodhound Scotland Rocket Car Challenge and Scottish Big Bang Competition final.
If you would like to attend this event please contact Energy Skills Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday 10th March 2017
Time: 09.20 (for a 9.45 start) – 15.00
Venue: Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Exhibition Ave, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen AB23 8BL
This one day event, organised by Aberdeenshire council with support from Education Scotland, Moray and Aberdeen councils aims to explore opportunities for schools and resilience professionals to work together to help build more resilient communities.
Using recent experiences with flooding as a context for developing resilience, this event will provide support for health and wellbeing outcomes in the curriculum as well as those in social subjects and science.
Primary and secondary schools from the three local authorities will outline their experiences with developing resilience through the curriculum and there will be opportunities for discussion and reflection during the day. A number of external agencies will be present at the event to take part in discussion and to offer their support with resources to help teachers in schools.
This event is open to teachers and resilience professionals across Scotland and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If you are interested in signing up for this event please contact Gavin.Penman@aberdeenshire.gov.uk
Click here to view the draft-programme of the day
Today the Minister for Further and Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, led a roundtable discussion with Scotland’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sheila Rowan, about gender inequality in STEM fields.
They were joined at the Scottish Parliament by representatives from across the sector to discuss actions to tackle the issue as part of the ongoing STEM consultation but also to share some of the great examples already in place throughout the country.
Deputy Head Teacher of Woodmill High School, Zoe Thomson, explained how the school is working with Gender Balance Scotland to encourage not just students, but parents and teachers too in tackling stereotyping in subject choice and career pathways.
“The first step we took to a cultural shift was to put gender balance onto the remit of a Deputy Head Teacher, this allows gender balance to form part of the whole school improvement planning process. This is important as it enables us to have an overview of the strategic planning in order to involve partners, track progress and interrogate data.
“At Woodmill we have been lucky enough to be part of Shell’s Girls in Energy project. Last session 7 girls from S4-S6 attended Fife College one afternoon a week to look at the work undertaken in the energy industries. The girls took part in industrial visits and met with other students and apprentices, they also earned a National 5 skills for work unit for taking part. The partnership with Shell and Fife College has been crucial in the success of this project providing the students with a taste of “college life” and the opportunity to meet female engineers.
“One of our students from an earlier session has successfully secured an apprenticeship at Leonardo (formerly SELEX). Olivia was supported by members of Equate Scotland during her application and interview process which really helped her confidence and provided additional support we couldn’t offer within school. Another of our former students who took part in an earlier session has gone on to study Civil Engineering at Heriot Watt. Now both girls are role models for our next cohort leading to 14 girls signing up for the 2016/17 session.
“Feedback from the girls has also been incredibly positive:
“This has shown me engineering is not about getting your hands dirty but more about creative problem solving.” – Sarah M S5
Caitlyn S4 – “I am not sure what I want to do but this has given me more options.”
“I have had more confidence to offer answers without the intimidation of boys.” – Millie S4
“As a school we work hard to create links with partners and Skills Development Scotland has helped us arrange talks from female apprentices. We have found this is more powerful when the speaker is close in age to the audience and also targeting a smaller group of girls rather than an entire year group.
“Girls rarely make their subject choice in isolation so our next challenge is to work on the unconscious bias and misinformation in parents and teachers. Pupils really only know about a small range of careers and we are working with our partners in Early years to begin to broaden these horizons from age three to ensure girls have equal access to STEM opportunities and the benefits they can bring.”
Dalziel High School has a well established, strategic career education programme from P7 transition to senior phase. At the heart of this is a focus on STEM careers supported by a highly dynamic, award-winning school-employer partnership with the engineering company Amec Foster Wheeler.
Throughout there time at Dalziel High School all learners will have the opportunity to get involved in a wide variety of STEM related learning initiatives from participating in Science & Technology fayres, STEM challenges, Space School and Science & Engineering competitions to undertaking a Foundation Apprenticeship.
The following brief outline describes the core activities, purpose and outcomes of the career education approaches taken at the school:
- Film clip:
Foundation Apprenticeship and scholarship opportunities in the senior phase – a learner perspective
- Skills poster:
Access the dalziel-hs-skills-poster designed by the school to assist learners in identifying their skills and linking them to their profiles.
- Scottish Learning Festival 2017 – presentation:
With careers advisers in secondary schools and high street centres across the country, we are passionate about developing skills in the community and getting more young people into work.
We also support and promote work based learning and apprenticeships which offer young people the chance to get a job, get paid and get qualified.
As part of this promotion, we are working with employers, training providers and partners to co-ordinate events and activity throughout autumn to raise awareness of apprenticeships and the benefits of work based learning.
The Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy and the aims of Developing the Young Workforce include reducing youth unemployment and bringing education and industry closer together.
To support this, young people in Dumfries and Galloway are encouraged find out more about apprenticeships at an upcoming SDS event taking place on Friday 25th at Easterbrook Hall.
Aimed at pupils from S2 to S4, this event will help inform pupils when making choices about their future. It provides a great opportunity to hear real life experiences from apprentices as well as the chance to meet employers. Young people will get an insight as to the benefits of apprenticeships and career opportunities provided by work based learning through exclusive demonstrations.
You might not know but there are more than 25,500 new Modern Apprenticeship opportunities across Scotland each year, with over 80 different types available in hundreds of jobs! From financial services and healthcare to construction and IT, each apprenticeship is developed by industry to suit their needs. This means that apprentices can build valuable work experience from day one and gain an accredited qualification which is recognised by industry.
It’s worth noting that last year there were 765 Modern Apprenticeship starts in Dumfries and Galloway, up from 753 in 2014/15.
Apprenticeships provide an alternative route into the world of work, equipping young people with the skills they need to succeed. Foundation Apprenticeships mean you can also now start a Modern Apprenticeship at school. With a Foundation Apprenticeship pupils in S5 can complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship alongside their other studies, such as Nat5s or Highers.Foundation Apprenticeships take two years to complete with pupils spending part of the week out of school, getting hands-on experience at college and with a local employer in their chosen industry.
With a Foundation Apprenticeship they leave school with an industry-recognised qualification which is set at SCQF level 6 – the same level as a Higher.
And now Graduate Level Apprenticeships provide a new way into degree-level study for individuals who are currently employed, or who want to go straight into work.
Visit apprenticeships.scot to find out all you need to know about apprenticeships and to search and apply for vacancies.
Niall Caldwell is the Managing Director of Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd., which is a company based in Loanhead (near Edinburgh). They develop fluid power technology, which combines mechanisms with computers and electronics.
These days Niall spends a lot of time on the business management of the company, but he still finds time to do some technical work. He builds and tests mathematical computer models to predict how our machines will work when installed, for instance in a wind turbine. Using these models he can design the control system and predict the behaviour in all the different situations which can happen (for instance start up, shut down, emergency stop) before they actually build the machine. He makes these models by combining his understanding of the physics and mathematics of the machines with the results of experiments, to make a model which is complex enough to be realistic – while being simple enough to give an answer quickly. But no matter how much he thinks it through, when the machine finally starts working…there are always surprises!
Sign up and join us live in Glow TV – Scottish Engineers Special Leaders Award – Niall Caldwell
If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.