Picture of Highways England operations team manager Dave Sadler explaining how walkie-talkies are used to St Werburgh’s schoolchildren

Highways England inspires the next generation of transport pros

Published:  21 July, 2017

The next generation of transport professionals has been lined up by Highways England which hosted its first school open day at its Regional Operations Centre (ROC) at Avonmouth.

Around 24 Year 6 pupils, aged 10 and 11, from St Werburgh’s Primary School in Bristol joined traffic officers, engineers and managers for a comprehensive tour and to learn about life in the transport industry earlier this month.

Highways England technical leader and event organiser Garry Packer, said: ‘I’m very focused on raising children’s aspirations and confidence so that they will see their potential, and this open day was an ideal way of doing that while promoting Highways England as a great place to work.

‘The pupils were really enthusiastic, asking thought-provoking and interesting questions and getting stuck into the workshops, which included sessions on communication, visioning the future and team work.

‘I really believe that by engaging people from a young age, the next generations will be more interested in a whole range of transport related careers and that can’t be a bad thing when more than 25 per cent of school leavers need to take up science or engineering to meet the demand in the South West region alone.’

Highways England has been working with St Werburgh’s Primary School for a number of years, taking part in annual careers events, which also involved Year 6 pupils from Cabot Primary School, Glenfrome Primary School and St Barnabas Church of England Primary.

Helen Faulkner, deputy head teacher at St Werburgh’s, said: ‘The children really enjoyed the visit and found it very inspiring. As well as giving them ideas about what they might like to do in their future careers it has helped them understand the type of skills employers are looking for.’

Highways England has also been working with the charity Envision and Bradley Stoke Community School on a mentoring scheme designed to build confidence and business skills. This year a group of young people mentored by Highways England made it in to the final of Envision’s Community Apprentice competition.

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