Worcester City Council is on a mission to ensure more young people are ready for jobs of the future which rely on technology and digital skills.
Worcester Bosch and the City Council co-sponsored the pioneering 'Tomorrow Zone' at the fifth Worcestershire Skills Show, held at Chateau Impney in Droitwich on 13 March. The annual event, which is hosted by Worcestershire LEP and Worcestershire Council, attracted over 5,900 high school students – up from 2,600 in 2018.
Over 130 businesses and organisations were present at the Show, which aims to highlight options for young people beyond GCSEs and to encourage pursuit of subjects which Worcestershire employers need to sustain future growth.
"The Worcestershire Skills Show is a fantastic event which gives thousands of young people the opportunity to have one-to-one careers advice with hundreds of local employers," says Cllr Adrian Gregson, Vice Chair of Worcester City Council's Economic and Place Sub Committee.
"There are excellent prospects locally for students who choose to pursue careers in technology with employers such as Worcester Bosch, Southco and Yamazaki Mazak leading the way."
The 'Tomorrow Zone' featured the Worcestershire 5G Test Bed - a revolutionary platform for local and national businesses to develop next-generation technology. Staff from Worcester Bosch and Yamazaki Mazak demonstrated to students how using robotics, big data analytics and augmented reality over 5G (the next generation of mobile technology) can increase productivity.
Students from Bishop Perowne were able to test out Yamazaki Mazak's augmented reality headsets. These are being tested for use by the company's field engineers who visit customers across the globe to service their wide range of machine tools. The headset will enable engineers to call in expert colleagues over a wireless connection, who can then provide machine blueprints and even draw in augmented reality objects to help the engineer complete the service successfully.
The City Council offered travel bursaries to Worcester schools to encourage greater attendance. Students from six Worcester schools including Regency and Aspire Academy were present, as well as students from Heart of Worcestershire College. Bishop Perowne High School arranged for 290 students aged between 13 and 15 to attend the Show.
James Manship, Deputy Head at Bishop Perowne High School, said: "Thanks to the City Council travel grant we were all able to bring all of our year 9 and 10 students and let them have one-to-one talks with over 100 employers and training providers, who offered advice across a range of job sectors."