Students meet Sofia at 2021 Tees Valley Virtual Careers Expo

Virtual Tees Valley Careers Expo

Members of the Sofia team staffed a virtual stand to 'meet' young people, teachers, school careers advisors and parents and to answer questions about career opportunities in offshore wind and how to take advantage of them.

The Sofia stand was part of the 2021 Tees Valley Careers Expo, a virtual event open to students from years 7 to 13 from 72 Tees Valley schools and colleges. Usually held face-to-face, this year's event was an online version that featured both a virtual exhibition hall complete with 'stands' from a wide range of potential employers and sectors, and live webinars that interested attendees could dial into.

Sofia's Communications Manager Sue Vincent presented a session linking the subjects studied at school with the types of roles available at each phase of a wind farm's lifecycle - development, construction and into the longer term operations and maintenance. She outlined the various education routes into the sector - from on-the-job-training via apprenticeships, graduate programmes and University degrees - and answered questions from the online audience.

A key area of interest was how to secure an apprenticeship in the sector and what the requirements for entry are for aspiring apprentices. Note: For wind turbine technicians it is good passes in five GCSE subjects including relevant STEM courses.

You can download a copy of the Careers Presentation here or to see the format of the event you can follow this Tees Valley Careers Expo link, the webinar sessions are available through Live Zone button. There is also a video welcome from Tees Valley Combined Authority Mayor, Ben Houchen and information about

FOOTNOTE on 19 April 2021:

After the virtual event everything was saved and made available on demand for schools and colleges to access here. So far - oneĀ  month since the event - the additional engagement statistics are as follows:

  • 738 people have logged onto the event (this includes students, parents and teachers who had a group of students present).
  • 433 individual students have entered the event
  • 73% of the students were in year 10
  • 86 people have visited the Sofia stand
  • 260 people have viewed the Sofia workshop

These figures show the virtual events are able to have a long and productive shelf-life and can become a valuable on-going student resource for long after the event.

March 2021