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Students Rise to the Challenge

Pete Thompson – SUN Project Leader

The SUN Virtual Festival of Industries continues to link students with employers throughout the pandemic.

The SUN Virtual Festival of Industries are a virtual version of our previously successful Festival of Industry events. These events involved students working directly with employers such as LUSH, QinetiQ and the RNLI with the  aim of  raising the profile of engineering & manufacturing and creative & digital industries – sectors  that labour market information (LMI) data highlights as a skills gap across the SUN region.

so how did sun adapt?

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, SUN simply moved the festivals online and worked with employers in a new way by setting industry specific challenges via video. Challenges were designed to highlight students’ creativity, whilst giving them the all-important insight into the opportunities available within the different industries.

The latest winter edition of the SUN Virtual Festival of Industries saw students taking on challenges ranging from building floating structures for manufacturing company Wärtsilä, to designing radio shows for BBC Radio Solent’s Steve Harris. All the time, still learning from their unique experiences and routes into the industry.

The flexibility of the festivals has also proved popular with schools who have been able to use the employer videos and lesson plans in a way that works best for their students. Some schools across the region have used resources to create lessons, half-day events, or even set as homework.

Plans for a spring Virtual Festivals are underway with new employers’ keen to support young people throughout this challenging time, whilst helping schools meet Gatsby Benchmark 5.

For more information about the festivals, or to take on some of the challenges listed above, simply visit the SUN website here.