Engine Shed helps intoUniversity inspire Bristol’s young people around potential tech careers

On Wednesday 9th January, students from IntoUniversity Bristol South visited Engine Shed for the first time to take part in sessions aimed at inspiring young people around their future career prospects.

The group, based in Withywood, is made up of local Year 6 students, who took part in a variety of activities over the course of a week to prepare them for further education and potential career paths.

The FOCUS week is themed around the idea of Enterprise and Business Studies. During the first three days the students take part in a range of activities in which they have the opportunity to learn more about product design, market research and branding. The idea is to give them an insight into what studying business at university would involve. On Friday, the students are invited to the University of Bristol for a graduation ceremony and a chance to present their hard work to teachers, family, and friends.

The students received a visit from aeroponic vertical farm tech company, LettusGrow, who shared insights into sustainability, presenting a workshop on what plants need and talking about the journey from farm to fork and the skills needed to enter careers in the low carbon and sustainable business sectors.

Lorraine Fairbanks, Engine Shed’s Partnerships and Marketing Manager, said:

“We are so pleased to have IntoUniversity Bristol South visit us for the first time. It’s so important for young people to have opportunities to visit a workplace and this workshop will highlight entrepreneurship, tech, and sustainability alongside their other activities during the day. The opportunity to tour Brunel’s original Engine Shed offers some of Bristol’s industrial heritage alongside its tech-focused future. By showing them some of our amazing SETsquared Bristol companies, we hope the student will be inspired to follow paths to entrepreneurship.”

IntoUniversity is a national organisation with two centres in Bristol based in Old Market and Withywood. It offers local students after-school homework and extra-curricular support, as well as school holiday programmes like The Academy of Enterprise, which is supported by Engine Shed.  IntoUniversity Bristol South is run in partnership with the University of Bath, the University of Bristol, the University of Exeter, and The Queen’s Trust.

Imy Franklin, IntoUniversity Bristol South’s Primary FOCUS coordinator, said:

“It is fantastic to be able to bring our students to Engine Shed. It really puts the rest of the week into context in an inspiring and welcoming environment. Over the course of the week, we aim to encourage our students to think about their futures and what they might want to do after they leave school. This week, we have particularly focused on the idea of enterprise and entrepreneurship. Being in such a dynamic and exciting place, where a range of different enterprises are operating from, really brings the theme to life.”

IntoUniversity Bristol South’s visit to Engine Shed is part of the Diverse Workforce for the Future programme, that inspires and supports young people from diverse backgrounds to enter careers in the digital, creative, low carbon, and tech sectors, where adults from their demographics are currently under-represented. Find out more here.