Speakers for Schools currently facilitates over 4,700 talks and 10,000 placements a year and has reached over a third of all secondary schools and colleges across the UK.
Our aspirational engagements put young people in touch with the very best leaders, opportunities, and resources, to spark their ambitions and the belief in what is possible for the future. Speakers for Schools brings together eminent figures of today, from FTSE 100s and arts leaders to CEOs and tenured professors, creating a dynamic network of thousands of school talks and esteemed work experience placements – all for free.
Johnson Matthey – Virtual Work Experience
Speakers for Schools Experience programme connects state secondary schools across the UK with industry leading employers to offer life changing work experience placements for young people.
As part of the Experience programme, Speakers for Schools partnered with the FTSE 100 global science and technology company Johnson Matthey to facilitate their first virtual work experience placement to 115 students across the UK between the ages of 14 – 18. The placement was supported by 44 Johnson Matthey staff from across their UK sites each with different roles, approaches, personalities, and backgrounds and covered a wide range of topics including sustainability, employability and decision making.
To adapt to the new virtual way of working, Johnson Matthey developed a programme of expert presentations and interactive activities aimed at introducing students to a wide range of new skills and equipping them with valuable insights into science, technology and the industry as a whole.
Following completion of the placement, 80% of students that took part said they felt very or extremely confident in their ability to succeed in the science industry, compared to 60% at the start of the week.
Anna Newsum, Johnson Matthey says: ‘Speakers for Schools has created a fantastic programme that has changed the face of work experience. Linking students to businesses and employees in exciting careers is essential to inspiring the next generation. The virtual Experience programme makes access to careers advice and work experience easier than ever before and I implore all businesses to craft their unique placement that will support students on their career journey and set them up for a promising future.’
The Inspiration programme connects state secondary schools and colleges with inspiring and influential people for impactful school talks.
‘How to Achieve Anything – Gareth Southgate and Sharky’
An example of a recent event in the Inspiration programme is ‘How to Achieve Anything – Gareth Southgate and Sharky’. Working in partnership with Penguin Books, England manager Gareth Southgate and Sharky discuss the experiences and lessons of Gareth’s career. Gareth shared how young people can thrive and make the most of their lives by being brave, being kind, and following their dreams.
The event reached an estimated 5,500 students and 1,500 questions were submitted live. The full video of the event can be found HERE.
Feedback from students at the event included:
“I loved listening to this talk, I found it very inspiring which was something I needed at the moment during self-isolation. Thank you.”
“Watching the talk made me feel more confident in my own abilities and strengths.”
“It uplifted me and helped me see that what I want to achieve is only stopped by the barriers that I set myself.”
Teacher feedback from the event noted that “It allowed students to think about themselves and encouraged self-belief and was great that it resonated with exams also.”
Women of NASA – Debbie Martinez
A further recent Inspiration event was ‘Women of NASA – Debbie Martinez’. Debbie Martinez, Engineer Project Manager at NASA, joined Speakers for Schools and almost 1,800 students for a virtual talk discussing Women in NASA and careers in STEM. The recording of the event can be found HERE.
Students who attended the event commented:
“Honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed the talk and thought it was brilliant”
“Debbie was fantastic sharing her journey and acting as a positive role model for the girls in future STEM based careers. Really encouraging”