• Ahead Partnership appointed to run programme in its fifth year
  • The Buckingham School, Sponne School & Kingsthorpe College continue to partner programme
  • In-school activities plus tours of high-tech businesses for students

Hundreds of secondary school students in Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire will once more benefit from “invaluable” advice on career types and pathways from business professionals – many of them innovating in the tech world – as part of the Silverstone Park Schools Programme.

The programme has re-launched for the current academic year and, between February and May, will work with more than 600 Year 8 and 9 students at The Buckingham School, Sponne School in Towcester and Kingsthorpe College in Northampton.

A network of some 30 business volunteers representing companies at Silverstone Park and in the Silverstone Technology Cluster will take part in career activity days in each school.

Students from the three schools will also be invited to tour Silverstone Park to see first-hand the types of careers and skills inside businesses at the estate.

These include those operating in advanced engineering, manufacturing, electronics and software development in sectors such as aerospace, agri-tech, automotive, defence, energy, marine, motorsport (including F1) and space. Other businesses in areas such as construction, marketing, media and recruitment are also participating.

Silverstone Park developer MEPC’s Ruth Williams, Asset Management, commented: “We are delighted to be heading back into schools with the Silverstone Park Schools Programme which aims to inform, inspire and give confidence to young people for the future.

“The programme was launched in 2018 in response to concerns by local employers about a skills shortage. Opening young people’s eyes to the types of careers that exist – some of which might not be obvious – is essential in being able to show them there is something for everyone.”

Ahead Partnership, which specialises in delivering social value projects that seek to overcome inequality, promote opportunity and positively impact wider society, has been appointed to manage the Silverstone Park Schools Programme in its fifth year.

Stephanie Burras CBE, Chief Executive of Ahead Partnership, said: “We’re really proud to be working with Silverstone Park to manage this exciting programme, which is set to engage hundreds of local young people with careers and skills development opportunities over the next academic year.

“Silverstone Park is an inspiring workplace location, home to some really dynamic and forward-thinking businesses across industries offering incredible opportunities over the coming years.

“This programme will give students first-hand insight into how businesses on their doorstep are helping to develop the technologies of the future, and help young people understand how they themselves can pursue rewarding careers in this space.”

The Buckingham School, Sponne School and Kingsthorpe College are also eager for their students to take advantage of the Silverstone Park Schools Programme.

Phil Cunningham, Careers Lead, The Buckingham School:
“The advice and confidence that the business volunteers give our students – and also their parents – is invaluable. Each activity provided by the Silverstone Park Schools Programme provides an exciting look into many types of careers and career paths that most young people would otherwise simply be unaware of…”

Ann Warner, Learning Leader for PSHE & Careers, Sponne School:
“It’s a real privilege to be part of the programme. The business volunteers genuinely have the interests of students at heart and help them to understand it’s not just academic results but also attitude, application and initiative that can lead to some really remarkable careers – many of which are right on their doorstep at Silverstone Park.”

Scott Wade, Deputy Headteacher, Kingsthorpe College:
“We have been fortunate to be a partner school to the programme since its inception and it has proved invaluable in giving guidance, motivation and perspective for students as they prepare to make the important decisions about which subjects and career paths to follow. The feedback from students, teachers and parents has been nothing but positive and we really look forward to being included in the programme again in 2023.”