Cambridge LaunchPad’s first project day of the academic year saw 25 Year 6 students from Fen Ditton Community Primary School join Highways England’s A14 Integrated Delivery Team (IDT) to learn about the variety of roles available in the construction industry.
Form the Future is proud to run Cambridge LaunchPad for local STEM employers, as part of our STEM outreach efforts.
On the 17thOctober, the students visited the main project office at Swavesey, where they met members of the environmental, materials testing, procurement, commercial, H, S&W, Resourcing and IT teams, as well as being shown some of the traffic management used on our roads.
As the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme continues, students were able to take part in several hands-on activities and find out more about the jobs that are involved behind the scenes of the UK’s largest highways project.
A team of ambassadors were on hand to describe their roles, their day-to-day tasks and how each activity had a link to the wider project. By opening the students’ eyes to the variety of options available to them in the industry and by introducing them to inspiring role models, Cambridge LaunchPad hopes that they can see themselves in these roles and that this will help encourage them to reach their full potential.
A Year 6 student from Fen Ditton Primary School said: “Cambridge LaunchPad is a good way to learn about things you wouldn’t learn about in school. The volunteers are there to help you and it’s a good step to thinking about what you might do as a job in construction.”
Amy Flynn, Head of Resourcing and Redeployment at Highways England, said: “As a project, we’ve been in a privileged position to engage with young people in the local area, showcasing careers in STEM and the wider construction industry. We hope we have been able to positively influence and encourage the next generation, and leave a lasting legacy beyond the road we’ve delivered.”
During the day, students were also asked to think about some of the skills needed in addition to subject knowledge and qualifications, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving and curiosity. Working in line with the Skills Builder Framework, Cambridge LaunchPad and Form the Future encourage students to develop and build upon these essential skills, at project days and beyond. The students that develop these skills most successfully during the activities will be invited to attend the Cambridge LaunchPad award ceremony.
A Class Teacher, Fen Ditton Community Primary School, said: “It’s a really good practical, hands on experience for students. It gives them the chance to talk to professionals in the industry, and learn about jobs and roles they might not have known existed. I think it really inspires them, and it’s nice to hear the questions they come up with as it’s showing engagement and interest in what they’re learning.”
Molly Askham, STEM Project Manager from Form the Future CIC, said: “It’s been such a pleasure to start this years Cambridge LaunchPad programme with such an enthusiastic group of ambassadors and students. It was great to see the group engaging with all the ambassadors, especially the young girls being inspired by the range of roles showcased by women from Highways England.”
For more information, visit www.cambridge-launchpad.com.