Salisbury’s UTC invited the British Army’s professional communicators to engage students in various STEM-related activities to develop ‘employability skills’.

On Wednesday, January 16, the Royal Signals worked with students on team-building, critical thinking, code breaking and cyber security.

The school, which has 134 students, aims to hold at least one area of “significant employer aspect” per term.

“Royal Signals with their code breaking and cyber security very much link with our STEM-focus,” Principal Joe Mulligan said.

Salisbury UTC choose employers relevant to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to develop “employability skills” that prepare students for what comes after they leave the college.

“They will be able to say: ‘I’ve worked in a team, I’ve led a team, I have these problem-solving skills’ to hopefully put them into a stronger position to get that university or college place, or an apprenticeship,” he stressed.

“It’s not just about one day, it’s about development over time.”

Leadership is an example of an employability skill the school aims to develop in their students through days like this by taking them out of their comfort zones.

“Some students will step up as natural leaders, others will be asked to lead an aspect of an activity. As they step out of their comfort zone, they get more and more used to that experience.”

Joe said most students go into STEM-focused universities if they choose academia, and added that the number of students who secure apprenticeships is usually twice the national average.

Last term, Salisbury Chamber of Commerce came to work on ‘Salisbury 2020’ with the students who had the chance to re-design aspects of the city to raise its profile, and the Royal Navy will be the next guests.

Salisbury UTC works with many local employers who also take students for work experience.

“We are about building a wide range of employees and employer types, so the students get a really good understanding of what that world of work is once they leave here,” Joe said.

For the curious, UTC has an Open Morning on March 9, 10am-12am and holds weekly Open Mornings from 10am every Thursday.

More details: https://salisburyutc.org.uk/,  01722 444000 or enquiries@wiltshire-utc.co.uk.