Coordinated by STEM Sussex

Airport forges links with local schools

Date: May 10, 2016

Airport forges links with local schools

Gatwick Airport has strengthened its links with one of the most important events for young people in the South of England.

Gatwick, which employs over 30,000 people at the airport and in related activities, has become a Silver Sponsor of Crawley STEMfest and the Big Bang Fair South East, part of its strategy of boosting local employment opportunities and skills development.

This is the fourth year in succession that the airport has been involved with STEMfest, which is currently taking place in schools and colleges and in the community in general, and the Big Bang Fair South East, which this year takes place the South of England Showground on 29th June and is expected to be attended by more than 8,000 young people.

Gatwick’s Community Engagement Advisor Susie Howells said: “Not only are these events great fun, they also create a stimulating environment that brings school topics to life and gets young people interested in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) by illustrating how they translate into real life.

“It’s a two-way process: it’s helpful for us to build and strengthen links with education, working together to help illustrate the ways in which learning can be applied in the world of work.”

The team from Gatwick will be on hand to showcase real-life IT systems used by the airport, which students will be able to use and experience for themselves, in order to gain an insight into the importance of technology at the world’s busiest single runway airport.

“Looking to the future, we know that we’ll always need a pipeline of employees, both at the airport and in the region to take on jobs that may not even exist today,” said Susie. “It’s important that we build our links with young people in the region and with their teachers through events such as STEMfest and the Big Bang.”

Crawley STEMfest 2016 and the Big Bang Fair South East are organised by STEM Sussex, the outreach support department at the University of Brighton, in conjunction with Crawley Borough Council and Central Sussex College. Headline sponsors are Crawley-based geophysical company CGG.

STEM Sussex Project Manager Jo McKinney-Green said: “We are very grateful to Gatwick Airport, and to all our other sponsors, for their help and support, without which these important events would not take place.

“There are many highly-skilled jobs in the Gatwick area, but large numbers of people commute to them from other parts of the region. Crawley STEMfest and the Big Bang Fair South East are an exciting and inspiring way of making young people and their teachers aware of the training and careers available locally.”

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The University of Brighton through STEM Sussex will be hosting Crawley STEMfest in partnership with Crawley Borough Council and Crawley College.

STEM Sussex | Crawley Borough Council | Crawley College. www.stemsussex.co.uk www.crawley.gov.uk www.crawley.ac.uk/