Acclaimed business and academic leaders inspired the next generation of entrepreneurial talent at a series of events bringing North East career opportunities to life.
Business Durham – the economic development company for County Durham - spearheaded three events which showcased careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths roles for physics students as well as tapping into the business flair of local schoolchildren.
It is committed to inspiring young people about the richness of employment and enterprise opportunities that exist for them in County Durham and the wider North East, where they can achieve their dream career.
Business Durham delivers an outreach and engagement programme that focuses on STEM and the opportunities available at NETPark, working with partners in schools and universities to engage and inspire undergraduates and pupils alike.
Business Durham staged three events to promote enterprise and career opportunities:
· Physics Futures – A one day conference to inform undergraduates and post-graduates of the physics related career opportunities that exist in the North East
· NETPark Young Ambassadors – students from Parkside Academy, Willington, visited the Sedgefield-based science park to learn more about the businesses based there, so they can pass on their knowledge to their fellow students
· Future Business Magnates – pupils from local schools worked with Atom Bank and law firm Short, Richardson and Forth to learn about the importance of legal and financial matters in creating a business.
Business Durham partnered with the White Rose Industrial Physics Academy (WRIPA) and The Institute of Physics to arrange the Physics Futures event at NETPark, drawing on the academic talents of York, Durham, Northumbria, Sheffield and Hull universities.
“We had spoken with academics about the difficulties physics graduates can face when trying to get jobs in physics related businesses - and we know that regional firms are looking to recruit this talent,” said Business Durham managing director Simon Goon.
“So we decided with the White Rose academy to stage a ‘speed dating’ Physics Futures event at NETPark for regional employers looking for employees.
“We had more than a dozen companies speaking with physics graduates and the feedback we had was fantastic – companies telling us they had some of the most meaningful conversations they had ever had with students about the opportunities that exist in the North East.”
Professor Thomas Krauss, WRIPA director, said: “The students have become familiar with a number of North East-based industries that they would not otherwise have heard of.
“The natural tendency for many students is to look south because it is the obvious area to look for employment – so a key benefit of the event was to raise awareness of career opportunities in the North East with the student body.”
The latest challenge for school pupils in the acclaimed Future Business Magnates enterprise competition was to come up with a financial plan for their fledgling business and to decide upon their legal structure. This year the teams participated in an interactive workshop helped in their task by experts Graham Moore, Head of Business Development at Atom Bank and David Gibson, employment partner at Newcastle-based law firm Short, Richardson and Forth.
“What I took from the day was just how sophisticated and engaged the young entrepreneurs were from whatever background and school – how they could see the big issues, the importance of planning and the relationship between law and finance and how to apply that,” said David.
“We’ve got so much young talent here in the North East.”