Hands-on sessions with local primaries to plant early career seeds
Sofia is providing hands-on support to the Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s Building our Future primary education programme which aims to make careers education more meaningful to children from a young age.
The programme is run by Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency (RCVDA) and aims to engage local businesses and their employees in providing children with first-hand learning about nearby industry sectors and job opportunities, while also experiencing a taste of what they could become post-education. For the businesses involved it is about starting early on developing the types of skills they will look for in recruiting their future workforce, and getting students excited about their industry.
By introducing Year 5 students to Sofia, whose onshore electrical infrastructure is right on the doorstep in Teesside, the project hopes to raise awareness of offshore wind and the many different types of jobs that are in the sector.
Sofia’s involvement in the Building our Future programme to date has included offshore wind careers sessions and cable mapping exercises using maths and logic skills, run by Sofia’s education consultant Rich Hurst with Year 5 students at three primary schools including Bankfields in June and Whale Hill in July, which was also followed by mock-interviews with around 12 students.
Most recently at Westgarth Primary School a total of 48 pupils were engaged via a session to introduce them to the project and offshore wind careers, and then through the hands-on cable mapping exercise. The exercise is part of a suite of primary school education materials developed by Spark Tees Valley for Tees Valley Education Trust in partnership with Sofia.
Rich Hurst said: "The students really had fun while learning and the teachers very much appreciated the fact it was a practical real-world opportunity for the Year 5s to work in teams and practice negotiation and resilience skills to work towards a goal working out the best routes."
Jacqui Hutchinson, RCVDA Primary Careers Co-ordinator said: “Building our Future is dependent on, and grateful for, employers’ time and commitment to support the career education of Redcar & Cleveland younger generation.
"Rich Hurst, with Sofia's resources, is very much appreciated for his time and commitment to Westgarth Primary School in Marske, encouraging the Year 5 pupils to problem-solve the layout of cables and direct the energy created into land. He was able to offer a wide range of knowledge on the careers involved in the development and running of a wind farm.”
Sofia will continue to support the Building our Future programme as well as other local primary school careers building activities with offshore wind-focussed sessions already lined up for 2023 including at Errington, Yarm Prep and St Peters, Brotton.