Enterprise zone businesses were among a number of hi-tech companies taking part in a West of England LEP Pathways to Professions event at the Engine Shed in September. The event was aimed at career advisers to provide them with the knowledge to inspire young people and show the different pathways into the sector.

The event opened with a hands-on session with hi-tech creative companies from the region. Enterprise zone based Neighbourly displayed their social network that connects community projects with companies, Nu Desine demonstrated their tactile electronic musical instrument the AlphaSphere and Somo got people involved with their ‘Google Glasses’. These innovative companies showcased the high level of technology and design available in the West of England.

Nick Sturge, Director of Engine Shed and SETsquared opened the event with an overview of hi-tech and creative in the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. Nick Flaherty, technology journalist and consultant, spoke about the varied pathways that young people can use to begin their career in hi-tech while Chris Thurling, founder of 3Sixty agency and board member of Bristol Media followed with current employment trends in the creative industry and what employers are looking for.

The careers advisors were taken on a tour of the Engine Shed, where they were shown the SETsquared offices, which support high-tech start-up companies, providing student enterprise and enabling academics to maximise the impact of their research. A round table question and answer session followed in Brunel’s Boardroom around the topics of industry stereotypes, barriers to progression and the need to develop employability skills in young people. The careers advisors also had the chance to chat with Chris Chapman, this year’s winner of ‘Young Rewired State’about his passion and future in the hi-tech creative industries.

The Pathways to Professions events are just one of the ways that the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership is working to bring business and education closer together, ensuring that the region’s workforce meets business needs now and in the future.

For more information on Pathways to Professions, please contact Gill Carter at West of England LEP Skills on 0117 9229078 or at gill.carter@woeskills.co.uk.