BMAT STEM Academy: Wealth of work experience opportunities despite lockdown restrictions.

A wealth of work experience opportunities is being given to young people, despite lockdown restrictions.

STUDENTS at BMAT STEM Academy, in Harlow, are being offered a range of online experiences to develop their industry knowledge.

The school, which caters for students in Year 10 upwards with a keen interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, has worked with its professional partners to ensure students do not miss out due to the Coronavirus crisis.

BMAT STEM works closely with professional sponsors, including Princess Alexandra Hospital, Gratnells, GlaxoSmithKline, Raytheon and Pearson Education, to give young people real-world experience in industry.

Dave Ramsey, assistant headteacher, said: “Through our sponsors and other companies, we have been able to put together an online work experience package.

“Students will be able to undertake up to two weeks of work experience, with access to pre-recorded videos and presentations. They will take part in activities at home and present their work to the companies for feedback and advice.

“With lockdown restrictions meaning traditional work experience cannot take place right now, this is a way of ensuring our students do not miss out.”

Year 10 and 11 would have been due to go out on their second bout of work experience for the year this month.

Online opportunities now open to them include those in the areas of architecture, computer science and programming, medicine, accountancy and engineering.

Mr Ramsey said: “We have done a lot of research into these opportunities as we did not want to put out a random list to our students. We wanted to be able to offer them work experience tailored to the STEM subjects they are studying.

“We have put together our offering and sent it out to our students. The beauty of conducting work experience in this way is that if students cannot decide between two options, they can now go ahead with both of them.

“Of course, there are limitations as they will not be in the workplace and learning on the job. But, what they will get is interaction and support from industry and access to companies around the country. We have one opportunity with a company in Scotland which would obviously otherwise not be available to our students. Doing it online like this broadens their geographical horizons.

“We are already unique in offering our students two work experience placements a year. But, this will mean we could arrange virtual work experience alongside that in future. It is something that could always be available.”

Students will receive a certificate for completing work experience.

The school is also holding virtual employability and careers-based sessions, including advice from Tech Girls, a group of women in STEM careers who work to encourage more people into the industry.

To apply for a Year 10 or 12 place for September, contact head of school Dustin Schuyler at [email protected]

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