The Future
of Furness:
Exploring
STEM Careers

2023 Children's Skills Conference

Thanks to a grant from the Walney Extension Skills Fund, we launched the first Furness Children’s Skills Conference and provided a series of follow on career education projects.

These activities meant that children in the Furness area could access high quality Careers Education from a young age: explicitly developing skills and knowledge which can enhance learning and increase their chances of overcoming disadvantage.

The Children's Skills Conference

The event took place at Furness College on 28th & 29th November 2023 and enabled 470 Year 5 and 6 pupils and staff to work with businesses on key employability skills.  This inspirational new event was an introduction to exciting career options.

Children learned about each business, what they do, the skills they are looking for in employees and their future labour needs. Key Employability/STEM skills were promoted throughout the conference.

The children loved having a conference for them and many said they felt very grown up.

Whilst children took part in workshops, teachers participated in focus groups which sought their views on the most impactful future projects, effective delivery models and opportunities to enhance curriculum learning. This information has already informed FESP’s delivery planning.

The event was brilliant, thank you.
I am excited about how we can develop this further in school, and I know FESP will be able to support me in this through projects offered and contacts with businesses.

Making a difference

During the Children’s Conference, we asked teachers and school leaders if attending events like these makes a difference to the children? They stated the following benefits:

Children's Skills Conference Photo

It is critical that children here have equitable opportunities for success and can contribute positively to the local economy.

The Children’s Skills Conference was attended by 470 pupils from 14 local primary schools.  The conference enabled children to learn about skills and future careers and allowed FESP to build on the knowledge from the Furness Skills Summit with regards to local priorities.

This was a fantastic opportunity for the young people to learn about the skills needed locally and how they can develop and demonstrate them.

Since the conference many schools have asked for the Children’s conference to be an annual event as their children gained so much from attending. Now that the model is in place, we will seek funding to deliver the conference again, expanding it if possible to enable more children to benefit from this high quality focus on skills through employer engagement.

Follow On projects were planned and delivered focusing on key Career Areas: Green Careers, Digital Careers and Engineering Careers. The focus of one of the projects was altered to meet local employment priorities. 

FESP has followed up suggestions from schools and business partners to develop Careers Education at primary age even further.

Nationally and locally, improving careers education is a priority.
Recent national research has shown that Careers Education helps tackle disadvantage.

The Children's Skills Conference Funded by:

Businesses involved within the conference & the follow-on projects: