The world of STEM was opened up to a group of young people who joined us on campus to find out more about this in-demand and fast-growing sector and gain a taste of life as an engineer. 
As part of a 3-day event, in collaboration with the Engineering Development Trust (#TheEDTUK), we were really pleased to host the future of STEM talent at the West London Institute of Technology, based on our Uxbridge Campus. 
The day began with an insight into the study programme and apprenticeship routes that are available to prepare for careers in STEM, as well as a focus on the importance of employability skills – something that is at the forefront of our work here at HCUC. It was interesting to note that many young people are yet to discover the alternatives to university that are available to them and that they can access high-level technical skills and qualifications through further education colleges and Institutes of Technology. 
In fact, recent analysis shared in the government’s further education White Paper: Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth shows that technical courses can lead to better career outcomes with men and women earning more on average than those with a degree. This just highlights the value that Level 4 & 5 qualifications bring to the employment market and how they support employers’ needs for staff with higher technical qualifications and skills to become part of their workforce. 
The group of 28 students from local schools were then involved in an exciting practical project supported by our industry-experienced lecturers. Their challenge was to develop a drone using only newspaper, scissors and Sellotape, to support an egg being dropped from a 2m height – no mean feat! 
Based in our specialist workshops, the potential engineers analysed the task and went on to design and develop their drone and then compare and review their designs based on the project criteria. There were even winners crowned! 
It was great to see the group in action, working away and problem solving – just as we see our students do regularly. We hope they enjoyed participating in the day as much as we did hosting them and thanks to the Engineering Development Trust for setting up a fantastic programme providing young people with the opportunity to discover the range of options available to them. 
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