The Schools Ambassadors Scheme is a programme developed by the University of Sheffield with Sheffield City Council, Sero Consulting and employers to pass on the computer science bug to a cohort of GCSE age students from three secondary schools.
Fujitsu hosted a visit for 45 students, with 6 teachers to see IT services at work in our Warrington site, so they can link the inspiration of technology, the acquisition of workplace skills and visibility career opportunities.
On their visit to Warrington the students and teacher had a tour of the 141,000 sq secure storage and delivery centre we use to manage our customers equipment across the UK, a visit to see a real-life “Mainframe” system and an opportunity brainstorm the application of Bluetooth beacons and augmented reality technologies in the retail sector with Fujitsu solution architects. They also got to meet Fujitsu apprentices and had the opportunity to ask questions about what it’s like to work in the IT industry.
David Kay (Sero Consulting), who leads on industry liaison for the Sheffield scheme, expressed his thanks to Fujitsu for arranging the visit and that this had a very positive response of both students and teachers, saying “We were impressed by the keen involvement of Fujitsu staff in bringing the visit to life, speaking from their own experiences and also putting the work of a global enterprise like Fujitsu into the context of everyday life in such as retail.”
He observed that “In planning this visit with Fujitsu we became aware of the significant discrepancy between everyday user and young enthusiast experiences of computing and the technologies, approaches and opportunities involved in enterprise and web-scale IT – such as virtualisation and service management. Going forward in our schools programme we need to work on how to close that gap.”
Pete Eason, scheme coordinator from Sheffield City Council, reflected that, “the vast majority of students who applied for this opportunity told us they had no family members or friends working in IT. So we are very conscious that, despite a strong cluster of digital innovators in the city region, the opportunities for computing are not widely recognized or culturally embedded as they are in London and the south – so the selection of industry workplace visits will be really important.”
We left the students with a challenge to create an “infographic” about Fujitsu and we are looking forward to seeing the results of this and will be awarding prizes for the best one.
With thanks to Beth Rowlands, Melody Porter, Jackie Slack, David Fuller, Dave Marley, Sean Mantey, Nigel Langstone, Kevin Hughes, Barry Furlong, Mike Bridge, Myfanwy Edwards, Nigel Langstone Daniel Sanderson, Oliver Crabtree and Ben Gransmore. Who all willingly gave their time ranging a hour to a full day.