Editor’s note: The author of this blog is our very own Freddy Loft, Client Liaison & Training Coordinator at theICEway. He was joined by his colleague Thomas Esson, First Line Engineer, at last month’s Generation Stevenage 2023 event. Read on for a breakdown of the key aspects of their experience.
Last Wednesday (24th May), Tom and I attended Generation Stevenage at Knebworth Barns. We were proud to be representing theICEway as one of 65 exhibitors on the day. Organised by HOP (Hertfordshire Opportunities Programme), the event was attended by nearly 1,000 Hertfordshire students aged 14-16.
Arriving Early To Set Up
We arrived at around 8.30am, just past the stately Knebworth House Barns where the event took place. It was one of those typically beautiful and sunny mornings we often associate with late May. As we arrived, the air was already abuzz with excitement as different exhibitors were setting their tables up. A large tractor plus rigging set-up immediately caught my eye, installed outside of the Barns. Clearly, some of the companies here had come to play!
After we had set up our stand, we mingled with the other representatives as we awaited the official opening ceremony. There followed some short speeches highlighting the importance of local businesses and local authority working together to provide an excellent careers program for students. Then the Mayor of Stevenage declared the event open, and cut the ceremonial ribbon!
A 9:30 Start
Once Generation Stevenage 2023 began, it was structured so that a different school would arrive every 30 minutes. In the morning we spoke to a mixture of people, including careers advisors, people from local government schemes and students interested in a career in IT. We were able to offer guidance about different aspects of IT. We described how best to begin a career, outlining the various paths available to enter the industry.
Tom was able to offer his insights from a technical perspective. I was able to advise the students of the importance of picking up transferrable skills in whatever role they find themselves in. We also had a chance to have a nice conversation with the Mayor of Stevenage. She told us all about her role in the community and everything it entails.
We then broke for a short lunch period at 12 where we had the chance to mingle with other exhibitors. We spent some time talking with some of the Employment Advisers working for Services for Young People within Herts County Council. These chats were insightful and also offered potential opportunities for us to aid them with future work experience for some of the young people they are working with.
More students arrived and the conversations were much the same, with many expressing an interest in a future career in IT. We were set up in a barn directly opposite Stevenage Football Club, who themselves were exhibiting. I had my eye on the League 2 Runners-up trophy that they were proudly displaying. When we hit a quiet period I took my chance and got my hands on some silverware (Insert joke about being a Spurs fan here!)
At 3pm the Twilight Session began, and this was an opportunity for students to come along with their parents if they weren’t able to attend earlier in the day. This period of the day was slower paced and gave us a chance to advise parents of the different opportunities available to their children. We were also able to bounce some ideas off them!
In Conclusion: Generation Stevenage 2023
It was certainly a privilege to be able to share my experiences with the next generation of the workforce. Hopefully we were able to make a good impression with the students we spoke with. It was a very enjoyable way to spend the day and represent the company among a lot of other Hertfordshire employers. I will definitely look forward to the next opportunity!