QEST inspires students in Rotherham

15th December 2023


QEST Scholars have inspired Rotherham school students to consider a career in craft at a speed-networking careers fair.

The event was part of our Making the Future‘ campaign, run in collaboration with one of QEST’s key partners in our Crafting Tomorrow programme– Inspiring the Future (Education and Employers).

The Making the Future programme connects volunteers from craft, conservation, and manufacturing industries with schools to encourage young people to think about different career pathways, and to challenge stereotypes associated with working in these fields.

The fair at Rotherham saw around 60 students from Wingfield Academy engage with QEST’s Scholar volunteers: David Morrish – embroidery; Robert Walker – signwriting; Valérie Wartelle – wet felting; and Guy Cowley – historical clarinet making, alongside team members from Royal Warrant holding company, John Smedley.

I think it is extremely important for students to meet volunteers from the craft sector as previously, students had only really seen art as a hobby not a career. The presentations given by the artists were excellent, students were really engaged and were talking about it to the peers and parents afterwards. This has also helped with their drive in GCSE art, knowing that they could make a career from it.

– Rebecca Adamson, Art and Design Technology / Faculty Lead, Wingfield Academy

Students were given the opportunity to explore a range of jobs within the craft and making sector through demonstrations and a Q&A.

The students (and their teachers) were inspired by the volunteers and enjoyed learning about new career options, with more than 70% of students reporting they’d been introduced to at least one new job and could see how their school subjects could be useful later in life.

I wouldn’t have had a clue as a teenager that my role would exist in the world and how important it is to my wellbeing. I see it as my duty to inform a younger audience the richness of craft and how important it is to the maker as well as the wider world in general.

– Robert Walker, QEST Winch Design Scholar (pictured above)

More volunteers are always welcome for Making the Future, open to those who can spare at least one hour per year to engage with a local school.

If you’re interested, please visit the campaign page for more details.

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