Bion passionately believe in promoting STEM within the local community and we do this in a variety of different ways.
We work closely with two local secondary schools. One school as a Careers Enterprise Advisor through our local LEP and one independent school (Leighton Park) that has a strong belief and 5 year vision to be a Centre of STEM excellence. Via this outlets we take part in careers fayres, primary school events and careers advice workshops. On top of these we have forged a link with the local UTC (one of their teachers did work experience with us).
We also look to take work experience as often as possible. Our aim with work experience is to make it meaningful, so within the 5 days we try to get the student as much exposure as is possible to a SME. Their week with us involves working (with supervision) on the shop floor, preferably on shift so they know what it is like, toolroom and maintenance and then a day in the office with R&D. Having got a student interested in engineering the last thing we want to do is turn them off by giving them a week of housekeeping. This is not an easy thing for a company of our size to accomplish as it requires the enthusiasm of all to make it work. Our success story is a student who did one week and then came back to question us on the complexities of perforating, which he then used in his interview and got accepted to Oxford to study engineering materials.
We lobby our local MP and via EEF Government to bring about changes so that industry and schools work together better. One of the problems we find is we talk different languages and have different end objectives. So telling us what we both need to do is fine – but at the end of the day if we get measured on different outcomes always going to be a hard thing to achieve.
We believe in coloration and work not just with the local schools, but also our UTC. BCoT, Tomorrows Engineers, EDT and EEF.
We were pleased to be recognised for a regional award this year given by EEF for Partnerships and hope to bring back the National award for this in January.