Virendra Sharma MP sees pupils crack the code to career success
Pupils from schools around Heathrow are getting the chance to learn new career skills with the Secondary School Coding Challenge
In its seventh year, the Heathrow Secondary School Coding Challenge gives Year 8 pupils the chance to learn new skills in areas such as engineering and technology and encourages them to start thinking about their future careers. It forms part of the Government’s STEM programme which aims to get more young people to take up science, technology, engineering and maths.
Virendra Sharma MP, Chair Indo-British APPG said:
Heathrow is one of the most important employers in our borough. To see Heathrow contributing to the local area in such a meaningful way is a testament to their spirit of community. Helping young people progress with important STEM knowledge promotes a high skill workforce and provides careers for life.”
This year, the Challenge focuses on coding and is based on the 21 driverless ‘pods’ that are used to transport passengers from business car parks to Terminal 5. Working in teams, the pupils are tasked with building their own pod out of Lego, then programming it to travel a set route. The Challenge finishes with a pod race off between teams at the end.
The series of events taking place during March and April are being run by IT managers and volunteers from Heathrow.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:
My aim is that a future Chief Executive of Heathrow will come from one of our local communities and with expansion we could realistically end local youth unemployment. So investing in job skills through schemes like Heathrow’s Secondary Schools Challenge is important to us and the schools we work with. This year’s Challenge not only teaches young people new skills but also encourages team working and social interaction - and it’s lots of fun too.”
Over half of Heathrow’s 76,000 employees live in the five boroughs around Heathrow. With expansion, Heathrow will generate 40,000 additional local jobs and up to 10,000 apprenticeships.