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Schools programme “incredibly well received” at UKSPA conference

Published on 28 March 2024

Milton Park’s schools engagement programme, focusing on career types and pathways, received a warm welcome at the UK Science Park Association’s (UKSPA) Spring Conference.

The Park’s own Anna Fletcher, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, presented during the event’s ‘Growth, Skills & Talent’ plenary session.

The conference held earlier this month at the bioscience-led Babraham Campus in Cambridge, was attended by UKSPA’s sizeable network and key stakeholders, discussing in-depth the many challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

Anna explained how Milton Park’s Explore programme has engaged positively with over a thousand secondary school students since it was launched last year with Ahead Partnership.

In 2023, the Milton Park programme recorded more than 3,500 ‘meaningful encounters’ with around 1,000 young people.

Anna also highlighted how Silverstone Park on the Bucks/Northants border, also under the management of developer MEPC, has achieved similar results with its own schools engagement programme.

In addition, Anna informed the audience about Milton Park’s work as founding members and quantum donors for the Didcot Powerhouse Fund, which helps to fuel better futures in the Didcot area. In 2023 the fund raised over £100,000 in grants for local charities, aligning with MEPC’s parent company Federated Hermes’ ‘lasting social impact’ commitment.

Anna commented: “My presentation seemed to be well received, with other science parks approaching me to find out more and showing interest in doing something similar.

“The more people that put together education programmes, the more impact we will have collectively across the country in bridging the skills gap.

“It’s important as science parks that we invest in a skills pipeline and engage with educators to inspire future talent – particularly as fewer children have perhaps had contact with businesses since the pandemic.”

James Chaffer, UKSPA CEO, said: “Anna’s presentation was incredibly well received by the packed audience of UKSPA members and key stakeholders.
“The presentation highlighted the activities, engagement, outreach and the long-term collaborative partnerships that have been achieved through the inspiring schools programmes by both Milton Park and Silverstone Park.

“Initiatives such as these programmes are crucial to addressing the skills gap and significantly contributing to lasting social impact.”

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