Diverse Workforce

We have been calling out for ideas on how to engage young people…who made the shortlist?

Since late June 2017, Engine Shed has been asking the people across the West of England region to submit project ideas that answer  ‘How to inspire and prepare young people from diverse backgrounds, for the opportunities in the high-tech, low-carbon, entrepreneurial and digital creative sectors’.

The call closed on 18th September with 18 completed applications. Due to the quality of applications shortlisting these down was a challenging task. These 8 shortlisted project ideas will be pitching to a live audience on Tuesday 10th October at Engine Shed. Professionals and members of the public are invited to join the event and vote on which idea they think Engine Shed should support. The idea with the most votes on the night will receive a £500 ‘Peoples Choice’ award and Engine Shed will be using audience feedback to choose who to partner with, and support the development of the idea with up to 15k of funding.

The shortlisted 8 applicants who will be pitching their ideas at the 10th October pitching event are:

  • Digilocal 

Digilocal want to work with industry specialists to develop high quality project resources, to be used by Digilocal clubs and other projects to excite young people about tech.  

  • Engine Shed Roadshow 

Boomsatsuma already have a bus fitted with computers and film-making equipment, and want to expand its provision across the West of England and focus it around building awareness of and aspiration towards careers in the creative, digital and high-tech sectors.  

  • Future Workforce Platform 

CLWB.org  want to develop a platform and workshops that will give students and industry  partners a place to solve real-world problems.  

  • Girls on Purpose 

Simply Happy  want to develop and deliver a series of workshops in schools, enabling girls to be more engaged in their own learning process, grow their self-confidence and self-esteem, leaving skills that will support them in their future.  

  • Maths Hackers 

Eidos and Babbassa want to develop and deliver a series of workshops aimed at making maths exciting, and developing other 21st century skills like collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity and resilience. 

  • Target My Future 

Charity ‘My Future My Choice’ and ‘Mufti games’ want to develop an interactive decision making pin ball machine to tour the region. Teams of young people will work together to navigate life choices, which can lead to or hind future success.  

  • Teaching Futures School Direct Career Changers into Education 

Light Up learning want to develop their PGCE teacher training to span primary and secondary school, and to deliver this to career changers from diverse backgrounds to become industry savvy teachers.   

  • Young Genius

Working with partners ‘Bristol and Bath Science Park’, ‘Opposablegames‘ and ‘High Tech Bristol and Bath‘,   ‘Cognitive Paths‘ want to ‘bring high-tech to the street corners’, by increasing awareness of opportunities and skills by delivering exciting product development workshops in community settings. 


We also want to commend all our applicants as the quality of ideas was very high.  Please take a moment to look up  ‘ ‘Bonnie Binary’ ‘Careers Near here’ ‘Firetech camp’  ‘Real Ideas Organisation’ ‘Super Learner Club’   ‘Technoptopia’ ‘ Voice by Volume’ and ‘Teen Turn’ 


Join us on Tuesday 10th October from 6pm, to vote on who you think Engine Shed should partner to develop their project idea!




Why Bristol and Bath’s Ecosystem needs diverse talent

Employment opportunities in the high-tech, creative, digital and low carbon sectors are increasing. There are jobs that need filling today and as businesses grow so will their need for employees. We need to ensure there is an increase in talent in the next 15 years to fill these roles and that these jobs are really accessible to young people locally.

Today, the jobs in these sectors are not always visible to everyone across the region; some parents, teachers and influencers in young people’s lives don’t know about the opportunities, especially those without friends or family in these sectors.

A key part of Engine Shed’s vision is to increase inclusive, sustainable economic growth by supporting a diverse workforce for the future. The West of England has a huge and richly diverse population. Ninety-one languages are spoken daily; residents come from 187 countries of origin, which is an asset in a global economy – the stage on which the West of England is increasingly performing.

Our view is that by focusing on the economic imperative of creating jobs, and ensuring those jobs are sustainable, accessible and attractive to people from all backgrounds and cultures, the benefit to employers will be significant.


Engine Shed’s approach

We are committed to championing inclusive economic growth; and we are at the start of our work to support this. We are ambitious for this region – we want Bristol and Bath to be recognised internationally as innovative and dynamic in supporting inclusive growth.

Engine shed aims to try out different approaches which provoke longer term change. Our unique position with many trusting stakeholders, gives us the opportunity and the responsibility to experiment with new ideas.

We are not restricted by a need for evaluations or project outcomes but we hope that any interventions will raise awareness of opportunities and will form part of wider initiatives to support individual pupils, schools, parents/carers and teachers.

We host a number of strategic tenants (known as Components), have meeting spaces for collaboration to take place (rooms for hire and members’ business lounge), enable co-working for small enterprises to access our networks, and host and support events that connect actors in our ecosystem. We will use the money, intelligence and knowledge that those provide to fulfil our ambitions.


What we are currently trying out:

We have been working reactively as we established ourselves, but moving forward Engine Shed will be more proactive:

  • Offering Free Inset day spaces to Schools
  • We are proactively offering 24 days of room hire, free of charge, for Schools from the region to host Inset days here. Staff will be offered a tour of the SETsquared High Tech Incubator by staff experienced in the sectors. If you are a school who is interested, please contact Georgieor reception
  • Calling out for new approaches

We have set aside up to £15K of our surplus to work with partners.  This year we are publishing a call for partners to work with us to try out new ways of encouraging young people (years 5-8) who are currently unrepresented in the digital, high-tech, low-carbon and creative sectors. We want to support innovative ideas that are looking to disrupt and create long-term change! If you are interested in the details of the call –  please contact Georgie for the application information. Applications close on 18th September 2017.

  • Continue to work with existing partners

We are committed to continuing supporting existing partners ‘My Future My Choice’ and ‘Into University’  who already use our space to inspire young people.  We are responding to visit requests from schools as they arise and are working with other local organisations, such as maker lab ‘ Unit DX’ and business  ‘Ultrahaptics’  to develop enriching days out for Schools in the Temple Enterprise Zone. Find out more by emailing Georgie

  • Supporting and improving work experience placements

We will continue to support work experience placements that take advantage of our captive community of high-tech business’.  And we will continue to support innovation in improving the placement of work experience students.

  • Sharing best practice

Engine Shed is an entrepreneurial environment and a vibrant hub, which is all about meeting and sharing; this gives us the perfect platform to share what is working to support a diverse workforce for the future.

If you have any thoughts on Engine Shed’s work to support a diverse workforce for the future, then please share these with our engagement officer:



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How to find Engine Shed

Engine Shed
Station Approach
Temple Meads


+44 (0)117 903 1100


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