Tara Francis, Systems Engineer, IME C2 & Mission System Support
QinetiQ is a significant employer of engineers and scientists and so something we’re passionate about is inspiring the next generation to consider careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.
As part of this, we have a strong commitment to The 5% Club – a joint initiative with liked-minded companies, which aims to encourage as many as possible of the UK’s FTSE350 businesses or equivalent size to commit to having at least 5% of their workforce comprising young people – apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on structured training schemes – within five years.
In one of our recent STEM activities, over 100 students from five local schools enjoyed a day at our Malvern site as part of our dedicated ‘Schools Day’. As well as demonstrations of our technologies and robots, Year 8 pupils from Hanley Castle, The Chase, John Masefield, Dyson Perrins and Nunnery Wood schools took part in a range of unique activities, including:
- an introduction to cyber security
- working in teams to build and programme robots to complete an obstacle course
- a human behaviour and simulation challenge
- a ‘Raspberry Pi’ challenge, where students were tasked to unravel codes and fine-tune parameters to get an astronaut through space station airlocks in the fastest time!
The STEM Ambassador programme is run by STEMNET, an organisation recognised by schools as a trusted partner. The programme gives QinetiQ volunteers great opportunities to inspire the next generation of ‘People Who Know How’. We don’t really see it as teaching, but rather enrichment, which provides pupils the opportunity to meet our employee role models, helps them find out about the breadth of opportunities, and introduces them to the world of work as they think about their futures.
Very recently, one of our apprentices from the QinetiQ Apprentice Training School at MOD Boscombe Down, Lauren Hill, won the Most Inspirational Apprentice at STEMNET’s national Annual Awards, at a ceremony at the House of Lords. Read more about the Award