GFM pupils from Bay House and Gomer Junior School were keen to meet the Prime Minister, whilst taking part in London International Shipping Week on Thursday, 12 September.
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) kindly invited our pupils (aware of our keen interest in careers and STEM) and organised the trip to the Maritime UK Careers Hub, an all-day maritime careers event aiming to create interest and enthusiasm for maritime and maritime careers.
The pupils met with Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence, and Nus Ghani, Maritime Minster, who, as well as the Prime Minister, spent a great deal of time chatting with the students, and answering a wide range of questions from them. The whole event took place on-board NLV Pharos, a fully operational lighthouse vessel, which is taking up residence in the Thames during London International Shipping Week, and is moored alongside HMS Belfast.
Robert, aged 11 in Year 7 said that it was, ‘Awesome! We played Lego with the most powerful man in Britain!’ Whilst Isabelle, aged 10 in Year 6 said of the Prime Minister, ‘He listened to our ideas and loved the idea of us engineering a bridge from Gosport to the Isle of Wight.’
The Year Six pupils from Gomer Junior School, and the Year Seven pupils from Bay House School relished the chance to hear first-hand from those working across Britain’s £40bn maritime sector. They also took part in interactive sessions including a virtual reality port experience, and a full tour of the ship, making it a day to remember. Although their bridge idea may not become a reality their ideas for an engineering solution (consideration to tunnels too) and how not to impact on marine life were most insightful.
Mrs Mulhall said, ‘Today’s event has provided a fantastic insight for our young people into the exciting and diverse careers the future UK maritime industry will provide, from seafarers, port workers and engineers, to naval architects, ship-brokers, financiers, accountants, consultants, insurers and lawyers. Experiences like these are critical in enthusing the next generation and form part of the GFM curriculum. Those inspired to explore careers in the industry today will form the workforce that keeps the UK as a global maritime leader in the years ahead.’
Anne-Marie Mountifield, Solent LEP Chief Executive and Maritime UK Board Member, said, ‘What a brilliant opportunity to promote maritime careers to students from the Solent, a region where maritime related skills are highly sought. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed engaging with the Prime Minister Minister, the Secretary of State for Defence, and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport.’
The children represented the GFM superbly, engaged fully in all activities, asked pertinent questions, were polite and fulyl embraced the day. The have featured on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 an SKy news today, had coverage by the SOlent LEP, tweeted bu No.10 and a whole host of other industry lead and government officials. It has been quite a day.