Three Plymouth teachers spent two weeks with Devonport Dockyard owners, Babcock International Group, recently to gain a better understanding of the career opportunities available with the company in Plymouth and further afield across the Babcock Group.
4 August 2015
Projections show that the UK will experience a serious shortage of engineers in the coming years. 87,000 graduate level engineers are needed each year over the next 10 years, but the higher education system is currently only producing 46,000 a year.
The Teacher Industrial Partnership Scheme (TIPS) has been established by the Science Learning Network to help encourage more young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) based subjects at school.
As part of the TIPS programme, teachers of science, design and technology, computing and maths are able to attend a two week placement with a local employer to develop their knowledge of available careers and provide a context to speak confidently to their students about future career paths.
Julie Smith, Physics teacher from Eggbuckland school, Susan Bayes, Business teacher and Aaron Webb, Maths teacher both from the UTC Plymouth received a comprehensive overview of Babcock’s operations during their two week placement including visits to a number of ships undergoing refit, the Landing Craft support facility, the Logistics operations and the Factory Workshops. They also spent time with Babcock’s safety teams, the apprentice trainers and a number of the current apprentices and graduate engineers.
At a celebration presentation on the final day all three teachers agreed that their placements had been extremely valuable. Julie Smith commented: “After two weeks at Babcock, I am feeling positively evangelical. I now want to get back into school and begin working with my colleagues to disseminate this throughout the school so that EVERY student is aware of the opportunities out there for them, whatever their level”.
Aaron Webb said: “The passion and drive of every Babcock employee I have met has been inspiring. If I can instil that in my students, I will be a happy man”.
Susan Bayes added: “I have been overwhelmed by the professionalism of the Babcock staff. The career opportunities offered by Babcock for our young people are vast and will enable them to learn and achieve and secure an exciting future. Exactly what we need for the UK to develop!”
And it won’t end here, Babcock will be building these relationships with the schools over the coming year through a longer term STEM engagement programme.