Milton Keynes College Group has entered an exciting partnership with Red Bull Racing to create an Education Centre at the Red Bull Technology Campus in the city. The new talent pipeline will aim to significantly increase diversity and inclusion in the sport in line with the two organisations’ shared values – the College Group’s Fairer Futures ambitions and the racing Team’s Drive For Change strategy.
Targeted at 9 to 14 year olds, the Education Centre aims to open the world of motorsport to a new generation of young people to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects – subjects in high demand in the city and the wider country.
The partners will work together to develop courses in line with the national curriculum, guided by a Curriculum Advisory Board made up of selected technology industry partners to support and advise on the skills needed for the future. Understanding potential skills gaps and challenges facing the sector provides a unique perspective and opportunity to inspire students with the art of the possible: jobs beyond motorsport in the wider world of tech, in non-traditional roles that often don’t yet exist.
“I congratulate colleagues at the College Group for negotiating yet another massive collaboration with a major engineering partner. It’s by working with employers, large and small, that we ensure that what we’re teaching is what business needs, and science and engineering are two of the key in-demand skills across the UK. Just as the College Group is dedicated to opening up opportunities for potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds, so is Red Bull Technology Campus, so we’re looking forward to a partnership that will greatly improve the life chances of so many in the city.”
Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal and CEO Christian Horner says,
“The launch of the Education Centre on our Technology Campus is a landmark moment on the journey towards a more diverse motorsport community. Since its inception, Red Bull has placed the development of young talent at the core of its existence, with inclusivity at the heart of our culture. We feel strongly that the talent pool we are recruiting from should better reflect the diversity of wider society but to achieve this, we must disrupt the STEM talent pipeline from grassroots level. Our aim is to inspire young people to pursue STEM subjects at school, at university and to eventually translate that passion into successful careers.”
Research* shows that the main drop-off point for all under-represented groups in STEM is pre-GCSE (or equivalent level), meaning that, by the time they make their subject selections, most students will have made a choice as to what they enjoy, are good at and what has the most appealing career at the end. The challenge is often that there is a lack of clarity and visibility on what the career options are with these subjects and how varied they can be.
Being within a high-visibility and highly varied STEM careers environment, the Education Centre further aims to use this platform to deliver curriculum-relevant inspiring away-days for schools and students from all backgrounds. Pre-work packages will be offered to teachers so students can enjoy a 4-6 week programme of motorsport themed learning, culminating with the in-person visit to the Red Bull Technology Campus to experience interactive and experiential learning at the heart of the sport. F1 in Schools are also set to be supporting the project with their Mini-Challenge cars, enabling students to get hands-on with building and racing their own car as part of the experience.
The Education Centre is scheduled to open in 2024.