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New cutting-edge careers spaces aimed at inspiring youngsters have opened in Inverness.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Chair John F. McClelland CBE and Leader of Highland Council Margaret Davidson unveiled the free My World of Work Live! facilities at SDS’s Church Street careers centre on Friday (10 February).

Careers Lab and The Digital Studio are home to hi-tech interactive kit designed to inspire and improve people’s knowledge of careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The kit, which is mainly aimed at young people aged 10 to 15-years-old, is available for free.

The Careers Lab was built in partnership with technology education firm Immersive Minds. It focuses on developing technology skills across six computer stations including a chance to play SDS’s Minecraft Careers World and get to grips with 3D printing.

The Lab’s Virtual Reality headsets mean people can experience what it’s like to work in industries such as construction. Virtual Reality Careers in Construction was developed with partners Heriot-Watt University, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Animmersion UK Ltd.

Flexible workshop and cinema space – The Digital Studio – will be used for group sessions with activities focussing on the future of STEM careers. These include Space Junk which looks at how satellites navigate space debris and Cracking Cryptography which tests ethical hacking skills.

Teachers and parents can also expand their knowledge of STEM opportunities, with events and specialist continuous professional learning sessions.

The Studio’s also home to the Lab Rats, an after-school club for 10 to 15-year-olds.

My World of Work Live! complements the work of qualified SDS careers advisers offering

free, impartial, career information, advice and guidance from the Church Street centre.

John F. McClelland CBE, SDS Chair, said: “My World of Work Live is cutting-edge STEM career learning.

“The Highlands and Islands have so much to offer young people, and I hope the community hub we’ve created here at Church Street helps to open their eyes to that wealth of opportunity.

“My World of Work Live! not only complements the work of careers advisers in the centre and in schools, but fits in perfectly with the wider STEM agenda across the region.”

Margaret Davidson, Leader of Highland Council said: “Many young people are still exploring ideas and options for when they leave school.

“Hopefully SDS’s My World of Work Live career spaces will help to inspire youngsters who have an interest in STEM subjects to see how they can transform that interest into future career paths.”

John Keenan, Partnerships Manager at CITB Scotland, said: “We are committed to showcasing the fantastic opportunities that a career in construction can provide young people.

“With its emphasis on digital technology, which is being used much more in construction these days, My World of Work Live! is the ideal vehicle to get that message across.”

Sam Harrison, Director of Animmersion UK Ltd said: “Working on this project with the three partners was a very rewarding experience.

“We were able to develop innovative new ways of bringing educational messages and content to a young audience and the results are truly remarkable. The use of virtual reality as a means of educational and training engagement offers boundless possibilities.”

Find out more about STEM industries and careers at myworldofwork.co.uk and check for local updates on facebook.com/SDSHighlands

If you’re a parent, carer or teacher and want to find out more about The Careers Lab, The Studio or Lab Rats contact kirsty.wright@sds.co.uk

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