UK: Energy Ambassador Programme Now Running in Suffolk
This ambitious pilot, jointly developed by Skills for Energy (SfE), Suffolk Education Business Partnership, (Suffolk EBP) and Suffolk County Council, provides a simple way and effective way to link industry and schools to enthuse and inform young people in Suffolk about the energy sector.
So far over 25 people from local and international energy sector companies, with a base in Suffolk, have already volunteered to get involved. Companies include Seajacks, SSE, Fendercare, Shell Exploration and Marine, PHA, Larking Gowen, UK Power Networks, Magnox, and EDF.
These Energy Ambassadors are now in the process of signing up and attending a short induction briefing where they are given information, ideas and a resource toolkit for working with young people. So far two induction sessions have been held, at the Orbis Centre and most recently on 10 Oct at Alde Valley School. School coordinator Jill Douglass attended to give an update on the Schools Energy Network project which brings together seven schools in North Suffolk and how the Energy Ambassadors can provide additional support and meaningful context.
A group of Year 9 students forfeited their break to join the session. They have been successful in their application to act as young energy ambassadors and will participate in a range of energy related activities. One of the questions asked of Stuart Gregg of Shell was how does the company actually drill for oil which led to a lively discussion on likening it to gas coming out of shaken bottles of fizzy pop. Jenna Stewart from Magnox had the opportunity to explain her role in communications working within the energy sector.
Interest from schools across Suffolk has been positive and a number of introductions have been made and initial meetings held including Sir John Leman and Bungay High School. Ambassadors and their school contact will plan how they will work together according to the Ambassador’s skills, interests and availability. In the induction ambassadors work on potential activities which we then include in the resource toolkit, providing a valuable resource bank for Suffolk ambassadors. Other activities they could help with include giving careers talks and information about energy jobs, energy related projects, supporting a practical activity, or by talking to teachers about future opportunities for their pupils.
Energy Ambassadors register as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Ambassadors and become part of the national STEMNET STEM Ambassador programme, funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and coordinated locally by the STEM Team at Suffolk EBP. Existing STEM Ambassadors working in the sector are also very welcome to get involved.
Press release, October 28, 2012; Image: EEEGR