The Contribution to the Business Awards is hosted annually by EDT (The Engineering Development Trust). EDT are one of Society’s clients. Amongst other things they aid students with finding a paid work placement with a STEM-related business either after completing their A-levels or during their University sandwich year.

Last night was the South East regional final. The regional winner was Zahrah Hussain, a Chemical Engineering student at UCL who is currently completing a Year in Industry placement with Centrica. Her winning presentation was around developing a method for analysing value chains for greenhouse gas emissions. Zahrah was presented with her award by keynote speaker Maggie Philbin, former presenter of Tomorrow’s World.

STEM workforce is crucial to business and industry in the UK, however 42% of employers are having difficulties recruiting STEM skilled employees. Through structured work experience, students gain skills in problem solving, communication and customer awareness, all areas that have been identified as weaknesses in graduate skill sets. EDT is the largest provider of gap year placements through its Year in Industry (YINI) programme and is an acknowledged leader in the field.

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