Students from UTC South Durham in the fast lane with Ferrari F1 Team

On Tuesday 20 June, Year 10 and Year 12 students at University Technical College (UTC) South Durham were treated to a once in a lifetime careers talk by a Ferrari F1 engineer.

Senior Aerodynamics Engineer, Phil Houghton, spoke to the students for over one hour in an interactive question and answer session Skyped live from Italy. Delivered as part of the North East LEP’s Enterprise Adviser programme, the session was designed to help inspire the young professionals on their journey to exciting careers.

Arranged by Steve Pugh, Managing Director of The Bignall Group and a North East LEP Enterprise Adviser for UTC South Durham, students gained an insight into an exciting career path.

The Enterprise Adviser Network is a national network that connects schools and colleges with employers and careers programme providers to work together to create meaningful encounters with the world of work for young people.

The network is based on evidence that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training, and can earn up to 18% more during their career.

In his role in supporting the college, Steve was keen to set up the session. He said:

As a Chartered Mechanical Engineer myself, together with the team at the UTC we wanted to spark the imaginations and allow the students to ask first hand questions about Phil’s career to date and open their eyes at the many options available to them.

An education at UTC South Durham is the perfect place to develop a career in engineering, and in my role as an Enterprise Adviser I hope we can set up many more similar talks over the next year.

Phil Houghton, Aerodynamicist at Ferrari F1 Team said:

It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm in the students and share some of my experience. I believe that teaching technical skills, leadership and linking in with employers at an early stage is crucial in guiding the next generation of engineers.

I only wish that I could have had something similar when I was younger. Getting to talk directly to people in dream jobs, and sharing honest feedback and answering questions I hope was valuable to the students.

Michelle Rainbow, Skills Director at the North East LEP said:

Steve is a fantastic ambassador for the Enterprise Adviser network here in the North East and he really went the extra mile in organising this unique careers experience for students at UTC South Durham.

Students gained a valuable insight into the career path of a Ferrari F1 Team member and I hope it’s inspired them to follow in Phil’s footsteps and realise their full potential.

This is what the Enterprise Adviser network is all about; connecting businesses with education to ensure students have an better understanding of the opportunities available to them.

The North East LEP’s Enterprise Adviser programme has been running since December 2015. Part of a national initiative developed by The Careers and Enterprise Company, Enterprise Advisers work in partnership with enterprise coordinators to support schools and colleges to navigate the range of possible employer interactions and to help them create a whole school strategy for careers, enterprise and employer engagement.

Find out more about Enterprise Advisers