29th November 2022
DELIVERING SOCIAL VALUE
Thales recently outlined its approach to social value, with a collection of programmes designed to deliver a positive contribution to its communities, the environment and society at large. The Smallpeice Trust is one of their partners, as referenced in the Thales report on 'Delivering social value to the UK'. As part of the report, Thales looked at how they could replicate the passion their own team members have for engineering in tomorrow's engineers:
"As an engineering company, we want to fuel this passion in the next generation. We've been working in partnership with The Smallpeice Trust on STEM projects tailored to local needs across primary and secondary schools around all of our major sites. It's great to be able to inspire the nation's future engineers by highlighting the cutting edge work we do and showing them what it's like to work in a leading technology company"
In 2021/22, Thales supported schools around their sites to have access to STEM Challenge Days and Think Kits, as well as giving the students the chance to attend engineering summer schools. The company also demonstrated their wider commitment to addressing the skills gap by sponsoring a range of courses on cyber and computing, electronics, and robotics with leading universities.
Charlene Simms, Social Value Education & Outreach Manager at Thales, talks about working with The Smallpeice Trust:
"I first met staff from the charity at the Big Bang Fair for young scientists and engineers; there was an existing relationship with our Belfast office, and I was intrigued to learn more about the charity's work with young people and how we might work together. Since then, we've supported several engineering courses across a variety of disciplines and the relationship has gone from strength to strength.
Reaching new audiences
"Working with The Smallpeice Trust gives us access to schools that we wouldn't otherwise know about and puts us in touch with different types of schools across the UK. Whereas we have relationships close to our regional offices, partnering with a charity that works across the country allows us to reach areas we wouldn't normally. Working within the community and reaching groups who are underrepresented or underprivileged is incredibly important to us, and these courses help us give young people a chance to consider engineering as a career, no matter their background."
"I would thoroughly recommend the charity to any organisations thinking about supporting a course - they are professional, flexible and accommodating."
Adapting to change
"During the pandemic, we found that the charity reacted quickly to come up with solutions for event delivery. When we responded to their ideas with some suggestions of our own, I was impressed at how the team adapted to suit our needs. The Primary Live stream sessions were a great example - a bespoke home learning solution during half-term in October 2020. We witnessed first-hand just how effective the Education Team are at communicating and adapting to change. As a former teacher, I know how important those qualities are to help you reach students with key messages and stay flexible in uncertain times.
Supporting new and existing partners
"I would thoroughly recommend the charity to any organisations thinking about supporting a course - they are professional, flexible, and accommodating. Whether it's your first partnership or one of many, they are fantastic at reaching young people from diverse backgrounds and have lots of experience of supporting large organisations to come up with the option best suited to them."
The Smallpeice Trust is a children's education charity, which provides a range of STEM-based scholarships, programmes, and interactive STEM days to get more young people from all backgrounds into engineering.
In 2023, Thales are supporting The Smallpeice Trust to deliver three fully funded, virtual engineering activities during Science Week, for students across the UK. Find out more and apply here:
Livestream 1: March 10
Livestream 2: March 14
Livestream 3: March 21