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Ordnance Survey launches virtual work experience



Close-up boy studying at home with tablet
Image source: Tshum

Ordnance Survey has created a virtual work experience, providing nationwide access to year 10 school students to experience careers at the national mapping and geospace agency.

Year 10 pupils will gain experience of technologies such as satellite imagery and drones. Prior to the pandemic-lockdowns only students living in Southampton could be considered for work experience at the agency.

Work experience students will use artificial intelligence (AI), drones, remote sensing, satellite technology and application development as part of their virtual work experience. Developed in partnership with Speakers for Schools, the organisation founded by former BBC and now ITV business and politics journalist Robert Peston, the virtual work experience includes live sessions with Ordnance Survey experts, so that pupils can learn from real-life examples of using geospatial skills and technologies.

“From connecting homes with utilities, transport and how we communicate to supporting emergency responders, the students will have first-hand experience of how fundamental this data is,” said Iain Rolfe, Head of Geospatial Strategy at Ordnance Survey.

Hazel Hendley, Director of People at Ordnance Survey, said the introduction of flexible and hybrid working as the norm since the pandemic lockdowns opened up work experience to virtual and, therefore, national opportunities. “Over the last couple of years, we’ve all proved that hybrid and remote working can be a success, and we continue to support it, as well as looking at the opportunities that this type of environment provides us.”

Iain Rolfe, Head of Geospatial Strategy at Ordnance Survey, adds: “By doing this remotely, we can offer work experience to twelve times as many students as we could when we ran our traditional on-site programme.”

Virtual work experience lends itself to the government’s levelling up agenda, spreading opportunity across the country, with 500 students gaining access to work experience at Ordnance Survey. Hendley says: “By doing this remotely, we can not only give more teenagers the opportunity to do their work experience at Ordnance Survey, but this will be accessible to year 10 students all over the country rather than just the Southampton area.”

Rolfe adds: “Moreover, with roughly 15 virtual classrooms, each one being from a different school and spread across different geographical areas and socio-economic backgrounds in Great Britain, where you live is no longer a barrier.”

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