Oxford Instruments NanoScience hosts ‘Apprenticeship Launchpad’ event in Oxfordshire
01 July 2015
In support of the UK Government’s STEM* initiative the Oxfordshire Skills Board, facilitated and supported by Oxford County Council Economy and Skills team, asked Oxford Instruments to take part in this year’s Apprenticeship Launchpad activity.
Oxford Instruments has been running a very successful Apprentice Programme for almost forty years now. Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes, designed with employers, which combine on and off-the-job learning and development activities.
The Apprenticeship Launchpad is an opportunity for talented individuals from schools in the Oxford area to come and visit companies involved in Science, Technology and Engineering. It provides an opportunity for students to gain more understanding and knowledge of the options available to them in terms of apprenticeships, as they prepare to take the next step in their career and finish their schooling years.
It also provides businesses with an opportunity to connect with their potential future work-force, raise their profile in the local community and nurture high quality apprenticeship candidates.
On Thursday, 25 June 2015, a group of 23 students from Chipping Norton School, The Henry Box School, Witney, Carterton Community College and Marlborough School attended the Apprentice Launchpad event hosted at the prestigious site of Oxford Instruments in Tubney Woods, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
The event included a presentation about Oxford Instruments’ products and its Apprentice Programme, followed by a factory tour and some hands-on demonstrations to understand some of the principles and processes involved with the technology at Oxford Instruments. The students were encouraged to ask questions and actively seek feedback.
Justin Elford, Apprentice Programme Manager at Oxford Instruments says, “We are committed to progressively developing our Apprenticeship Programme and making this a success and contribute towards the growth of the UK economy. Wherever possible, we would like to take the opportunity of raising the awareness of Science, Technology, and Engineering to individuals within their school years and raise the awareness of the possibilities and opportunities that are available to young people upon finishing their school years.”
Here are some quotes from the participating students at the event:
“The staff and Apprentices were friendly and informative, made me consider an Apprenticeship.”
“I loved learning about magnets and cryogenics. The 3D printer was awesome.”
“I liked the tour of whole factory and explanation of Apprenticeship opportunities, well explained and interesting.”
“Very engaging, very interesting – I liked the tour of the factory and explanation of Apprenticeships.”
A mother commented, “My child has found them all very informative and has certainly questioned the role of science in the real (and local) work place. She has also taken an interest in realising that females can take an important role in these locations.”
Melanie Ringer, the Skills Officer from Oxfordshire Apprenticeships stated, “It was a fantastic experience for the students. Out of 23 students, 11 of them said that they would now consider working at Oxford Instruments as a result of the session.”
* STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects are important for UK’s success. It is crucial that all young people, regardless of their future career pathway, have the STEM knowledge and skills they need to be an informed citizen in an increasingly scientific and technological society. Government has long identified STEM education as a major priority at both school and HE level. Education for a strong STEM economy is built on strong subject teaching. By reaching outside the classroom, the students make links with the world of work, and use varied contexts to relate school STEM subjects with their real-world experience.