Global energy company National Grid and UK underrepresented talent specialist, MyKindaFuture have created a virtual work experience programme for South London students in years 12 and 13.
The programme’s aim
The programme forms part of a wider commitment made by National Grid to encourage more young people to enter STEM-focused careers, where the firm’s London Power Tunnels Project school engagement programme seeks to engage around 100,000 young people over the next five years.
The programme will run from July 5th-9th and will “provide pupils with an unrivalled insight into the energy sector” and is open to young people living in the seven boroughs of South London impacted by National Grid’s £1 billion London Power Tunnels project, and students across London and the wider UK in areas of low social mobility. Currently, the industry needs to fill 400,000 roles by 2050 to reach its net-zero target
According to the ONS, the percentage of young people aged 16 to 24 in the UK not in education, employment, or training (NEET) in December 2020 was 11.6%. With disadvantaged students twice as likely to become NEET aged 18 than their peers, the programme will go some way to help plug the employment and education gap for this group and help them build STEM-related careers.
What to expect
Students that take part can expect access to live sessions, learning materials, digital mentorship, seminars, live Q&A sessions, modules, and quizzes. Attendees can also expect to enhance their employability by developing professional abilities including CV writing, presenting, and project management skills. They will also be given advice on how to work from home effectively, which is essential in an environment where COVID-19 may have changed working styles for good. There will also be opportunities for networking with senior industry figures.
The programme’s live sessions will detail the steps National Grid are taking to contribute towards the UK Net Zero target. Students will hear from representatives involved in the electric vehicle roll-out as well as the team responsible for National Grid’s Wind Turbine innovation. A representative from HR will also join the sessions and will share the range of roles available at National Grid and the net-zero workforce.
Will Akerman, Founder and Managing Director at MyKindaFuture, said: “We are so pleased to be running this virtual work experience programme alongside the team at National Grid. Giving students from underrepresented areas who are interested in sustainability, the environment, renewable energy, STEM or project management, the opportunity to succeed in life is incredibly rewarding. Many of the people taking part in this programme will never have thought a career in STEM was feasible. Well, now it is!
“COVID-19 has caused uncertainty for everyone, but those from disadvantaged backgrounds have been the hardest hit, and it is time to give back to them. Gaps in social mobility have grown and school closures have led to far greater inequalities in accessing education resources than we have ever seen. By being virtual we are able to get to these underserved communities and help those that need it the most.”
Gareth Burden, Project Director at National Grid commented: “The past year has been really challenging for a number of young people who haven’t had access to the support or material they need to help inform their future studies and career paths. This is why our virtual work experience week is a great opportunity for some of these young people to learn more about National Grid, the energy industry and how we need their skills and passion to make net zero happen.
“Pupils will be able to meet and speak to a range of experts from our London Power Tunnels project and wider company and will be able to learn about potential job opportunities with us. The work experience week forms part of our wider outreach programme with secondary schools where we aim to work with 100,000 pupils over the next five years.”