Thames Tideway brought together school students and education minister Sam Gyimah with its engineering team on a boat trip down the River Thames to talk about the career opportunities the project will create.
Following a talk by Gyimah and Tideway architect Clare Donnelly about the 25km tunnel, the students from Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in Holland Park, the Beacon School in Surrey and Bishop Challoner School in Tower Hamlets were challenged to design their own ventilation shafts for the tunnel.
Bishop Challoner student Redion Feruku said: “I didn’t know how much work goes into building tunnels. I was already thinking about a career in science and engineering, but didn’t know how many routes there are to take. There’s not just buildings and skyscapers.”
The trip was part of the ‘Best School Trip, Ever!’ programme, aiming to highlight the variety of careers available to those who choose science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) subjects at A-level.
Gyimah said: “Initiatives such as ‘Best School Trip Ever’ are a valuable part of our drive to improve the links between employers and schools and get more young people – particularly girls – to study STEM subjects and consider careers in the industries of the future.”
Tideway skills and employment manager Scott Young said: “We are facing a huge skills gap in construction and engineering and it’s vital that we continue to show youngsters how varied and exciting careers in the industry can be.
“Campaigns like Your Life are making real steps towards encouraging schoolchildren to study STEM subjects and making sure we have the workforce needed for projects like the Thames Tideway Tunnel and others major infrastructure projects in the future.”