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Virtual workplace tours launched to Derbyshire’s students during National Careers Week

Virtual workplace tours launched to Derbyshire’s students during National Careers Week

National Careers Week 2021 (1 – 5 March) sees the launch of three virtual workplace tours to students across north east Derbyshire.


Produced as part of the Made in Chesterfield campaign, the films feature three local businesses operating in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sector - MSE Hiller, United Cast Bar (UCB) and Woodhead Construction.

The films, which are available to view on YouTube, feature virtual tours of the UCB foundry, MSE Hiller’s workshop and laboratory and Chesterfield Borough Council’s new Enterprise Centre which is currently being built by Woodhead Construction.

Each of the inspiring films feature details of the job roles available at each business, what they involve and qualifications and skills needed.

Produced by Chesterfield-based Defeye Creative, the films are designed to bridge the gap between education providers and businesses during the pandemic and answer the questions that young people are unable to ask while school trips are not allowed.

Despite the recent announcement that students across the country will be returning to the classroom on Monday 8 March, social distancing restrictions will remain in place until at least 21 June this year, preventing students undertaking vital workplace visits and work experience.

Sponsored by Chesterfield College, the annual Made in Chesterfield campaign is coordinated by Destination Chesterfield in partnership with Derbyshire Education Business Partnership, supported by Chesterfield Borough Council and North Derbyshire Careers Hub.

The campaign was originally launched in 2015 in response to companies in the sector reporting long term recruitment difficulties. Over the last six years, Made in Chesterfield has helped introduce thousands of young people in North East Derbyshire to careers in the STEM sector.

Ivan Fomin, Managing Director of MSE Hiller and Destination Chesterfield’s board member responsible for manufacturing and engineering in the Borough, commented:

“I am delighted that we are able to take STEM experiences into the classroom and home. Although we are in the middle of a pandemic it is important that we continue to ensure that young people have access to education, training, jobs and work placements in Chesterfield’s STEM sector.

“With HS2 on the horizon, there is the opportunity for the region to become recognised as an international centre of rail research and innovation, but only if we have the skilled workforce to meet investor demand.

“Although virtual for now, I am confident that these videos will be successful in bringing together education providers and businesses to ensure local young talent is aware of the myriad of STEM jobs and careers available here.”

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council's Deputy Leader, said:

"Workplace visits are essential for young people making important decisions about their future. It provides them with valuable insight into what the workplace is like and also gives them the opportunity to ask employers important questions about the skills they need to develop. I'm delighted that local employers have taken part in this because it is vital to ensuring we build a thriving borough and create excellent opportunities for young people.

“These videos will help support the careers information on offer through the My Future platform, making sure that young people can get excellent advice and information about the opportunities available to them. I hope lots of young people will watch these videos and use the information provided to plan their future."

Daniel Heffernan, Senior Careers Hub Lead, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: 

"In these challenging times it's more important than ever to ensure our young people are given the opportunity to explore and understand the career opportunities open to them. These tours bring a little slice of industry into the classroom, which will help to drive up aspiration and subsequently attainment. 

“They will play a key role in supporting localised skills development and support us in our ambitions to create a steady pipeline of talent, that our businesses will need to bounce back and thrive, as we enter the recovery stages of the pandemic.

"I look forward to sharing these resources with our network of 32 schools and colleges across North Derbyshire, and our wider network of 140 schools across D2N2 as we all work together to ensure that our young people are able to step over any economic cracks created by COVID-19, and that they are given as much support as possible to go on to lead successful lives after education.”

Charlotte Land, STEM Ambassador Hub Manager at DEBP added:

“The Made in Chesterfield Programme is a fantastic opportunity for young people and teachers to gain an insight into the amazing places people work in Chesterfield.  DEBP work with employers to develop their programme offer and introduce them to local schools. The programme is an essential part of our work as a STEM Ambassador Hub to bridge the STEM skills gap by introducing young people to positive role models and work environments and through challenging stereotypical perceptions of engineering and manufacturing.”

Schools throughout north eastern Derbyshire are now being encouraged to share the films with students and give them a virtual taste of career opportunities in the STEM sector.

All the virtual tours, as well as informative videos on each organisation, can be viewed at  

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