Silverstone Park has re-launched its popular careers awareness campaign with local secondary schools which enables pre-GCSE students to gain greater insight into the world of work by interacting face to face with employers from the area.

The campaign – re-titled the Silverstone Park Schools Programme (SPSP) – will continue to work with teaching staff and Year 8 and 9 students at Kingsthorpe College in Northampton, Sponne School in Towcester and The Buckingham School in Buckingham.

Silverstone Park developer MEPC has appointed business, career and life coach Fiona Pawley to oversee SPSP – previously it was run by careers outreach specialist Automotive 30% Club under its Inspiration for Innovation banner.

Uncertainty caused by the Covid situation during the 2020/21 academic year affected much of SPSP’s ‘in-person’ activity between students and employers. But the programme still achieved thousands of ‘meaningful encounters’ between young people and employers with on-line events.

“The feedback from schools, students and parents since we launched the programme in 2018, has been very positive, with all confirming that the programme really benefits the young people involved, so it is great to be in a position to recommence our in-person events in schools and inside businesses at Silverstone Park,” commented MEPC’s Roz Bird, Commercial Director at Silverstone Park.

“We have a dedicated and enthusiastic network of business volunteers, from Silverstone Park and the Silverstone Technology Cluster, all keen to inspire young people and provide the information needed for those young people to make positive career decisions.

“Local employers are concerned to ensure that the skills pool in the local area is strong. Involvement in the programme is one way business can take action and make a difference.”

Roz added: “As the manager, and developer, of Silverstone Park, MEPC is committed to meeting its social responsibilities and this is just one of the ways we hope to give back to the local community – by helping to provide training, skills and career opportunities for businesses and young people in our area.”

Fiona Pawley said: “It is imperative that we support and inspire the next generation as they are deciding which career to pursue.

“The pandemic has had such an impact on mental health and now, more than ever, it is important to reassure them – encouraging them to find their spark and reach their potential.

“The purpose of SPSP is to showcase the variety of jobs available in the local Silverstone Park business network, especially demonstrating careers for women in science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM).

“The programme gives students an opportunity to raise their awareness about the world of work, better understand what they would like to do and showcase the fantastic inclusive, innovative companies in their area.”

What the schools say…

Kingsthorpe College, The Buckingham School and Sponne School have expressed enthusiasm for continuing as partner schools to the Silverstone Park Schools Programme.

Diane Fisher, Strategic Lead for Careers, Kingsthorpe College
“We feel privileged as a school to be part of this initiative and very much look forward to continuing our relationship with Silverstone Park and its business volunteer network. We know how this programme has benefited all our stakeholders, especially our students.

“It allows us to expose them to the world of work and the exciting opportunities that are available to them in a wide variety of industries, such as high-tech engineering, manufacturing, electronics, software, and marketing – the list is endless.

“This programme allows our students access to their dreams and passions, raising their aspirations and showing them first-hand that, as we say at Kingsthorpe, ‘everything is possible’.”

Suzy Pykett, Assistant Headteacher & Director of Sixth Form, The Buckingham School
“We’re really looking forward to the next in-person careers event here at our school. It was a huge success previously and we are excited to see the return of this high-impact and engaging experience.

“Students more than ever need to be exposed to inspirational conversations, find new role models and get excited to learn about future pathway opportunities. Thank you to all the people who help with these events – a great deal goes into the organisation, and it leaves a lasting impression on our students and community.”

Iain Massey, Headteacher, Sponne School
“We are delighted to be a part of the Silverstone Park Schools Programme. The knowledge and understanding of the wide range of opportunities that exist in high-tech engineering and the many associated careers that students gain from their experience is invaluable to them.

“Students in the past have benefited from meeting and talking to ‘real’ employers in this sector and it has raised their awareness, and that of their parents, of job possibilities that they had not considered or even knew about.

“At Sponne our motto is ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve’ and the inspiration and aspiration that these events have generated in the past have enabled our students to fulfil their dreams.”