Ayrshire pupils get a taste of STEM careers

S3 pupils Renee, Caitlin and Cailan from Carrick Academy visit the selfie stand.
S3 pupils Renee, Caitlin and Cailan from Carrick Academy visit the selfie stand.

The latest tool in Openreach’s drive to get pupils thinking about careers in engineering hit the road for the first time at an Ayrshire careers fair.

The digital network business has created two new, customised vehicles which will tour the UK to showcase the latest communications technologies to the wider world.

The first stop in Scotland was the Diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) event being attended by 600 third-year pupils from secondaries across North, East and South Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway at the University of the West of Scotland’s Ayr Campus

Carol Buchanan, Openreach talent and diversity manager said: “Scotland is facing a STEM skills shortage in the next few years. Fewer young people are choosing to enter engineering and scientific careers.

“If they don’t identify with the people they see doing these jobs, they rule themselves out without even realising it.

“As a business built on engineering and the UK’s biggest recruiter of apprentices, we’re working hard to attract a more diverse range of young people to STEM careers.

“Hands-on experiences are the best way to engage young people in engineering, so it’s great to have our new Showcase van making its first public appearance in Scotland at this fantastic event.

“Supporting events like this is one of the ways Openreach helps young people see that there are exciting options out there.

“While some believe engineering involves a lot of heavy lifting, those days are behind us. Modern engineering is really about problem solving and finding creative ways to do things.”