We were super excited to team up with leading design and manufacturing firm, Steelcase, to bring a Design & Manufacturing insight day to young people. This was a perfect opportunity for those interested in learning more about the creative industries, engineering, architecture or psychology and see how these areas are applied in the workplace.
Held in Steelcase's newly refurbished London office during October half term, students learnt how furniture products are designed and manufactured. They also discovered how spaces are expertly curated to meet a client need and make the workplace enjoyable.
Getting stuck in
Students got involved in a practical design activity, enabling them to apply some of the concepts they'd learnt to create functional and beautiful workspaces. They were also able to present their concepts to leading Steelcase designers. In the audience was a member of Steelcase's senior leadership team - a great chance for students to boost their profile and network.
It was amazing to see students get into creative mode and completely re-design spaces. Knocking down walls, adding more lighting, introducing soundproofing - just some of the ideas that the students had to bring a space to life!
Developing the skills of tomorrow
As part of the day, young people heard from a range of speakers from different backgrounds and walks of life. From space designers and product engineers to warehouse coordinators and operations managers. The presenters explained the variety of career pathways and diverse skills required in the industry. Students were encouraged to learn that there's not one route into the industry and it's possible to study a wide range of subjects. They also discovered that career jou
rneys are rarely linear and it's OK to try different roles and move around the industry.
The speakers shared the skills that are needed for success in the coming years. Creativity, creativity, creativity was the message of the day! Students also received feedback from HR on their CVs and guidance about how and where to apply for paid positions at the firm.
An impactful day for young people
"In excess of 20 young people attended the Design & Manufacturing career day at Steelcase. The interactive session enabled students to voice their opinions on the shortcomings of the spaces they were asked to critique. Some spoke so confidently about the changes they would make. Students found it so rewarding to receive feedback from the designers. It was an invaluable day." - Lynette, Open Palm Trustee
We're thankful to the team at Steelcase for an insightful and practical day, and to the speakers who volunteered their time.
Our career insight days provide young people with vital access to the workplace and employers. The COVID pandemic and social distancing rules unfortunately limited some years of work experience provision across the board. This impacted a whole cohort of young people but disproportionately affected those from ethnic minority or economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
As a youth charity creating an equal start line for young people, we're committed to ensuring that no one is left behind regardless of their ethnic or social background.
If you'd like to join our WYZ For Work programme to gain skills for employment and access work experience, you can get started for free here.
If you're an organisation that would like to partner with us to offer work experience opportunities, please email us at email@example.com.