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Company honoured for inspiring young people
Crawley-based CGG, the world's leading geophysical company, has received an award for its efforts in helping to inspire young people to study and pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.
The company, which sponsors the annual Crawley STEMfest and Big Bang Fair South East, was presented with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network (STEMNET) Most Dedicated STEM Employer award by STEMNET Regional Director Dr Ajay Sharman.
CGG, which was nominated for the award by STEM Sussex, the STEM outreach department at the University of Brighton, received the award for its STEM Ambassadors Programme and contribution to STEM outreach. The company joined the programme in 2010 with an initial eight staff, and to date 33 of its employees have been STEM Ambassadors.
At the presentation ceremony, which was also attended by students from Ifield Community College and Oriel High School, Dr Sharman said it was important to have role models in a company who can convince young people to pursue their STEM studies and demonstrate what real careers in STEM can be like, and he outlined the work STEMNET was doing to encourage students.
Also present was Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, who stressed the importance of forging links between students, their schools and colleges, and local employers.
For CGG, Mark Collins, Vice-President Europe, Africa and Middle East, said that involvement with the STEM Ambassadors Programme was a way of investing in the future workforce.
The company had realised that it was not recruiting the skilled STEM graduates it needed, he said, so it was going out to schools and colleges and becoming involved with events like Crawley STEMfest and the Big Bang Fair South East to give young people an idea of the opportunities available to them.
CGG's STEM Ambassadors have taken part in workshops and careers days in schools and colleges, hosted visits by students and been involved in Crawley STEMfest, the Big Bang Fair South East, TeenTech and WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) events.
Senior management have given their full support to the volunteer STEM Ambassadors, enabling them to give up work time to promote STEM to schools and colleges. STEM Ambassadors have given over 600 hours, or 80 working days, to the programme.