Pupils from a Bradford school were given a tour of Asda House as part of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) Enterprise Adviser Network programme.

The retailer, which has an Enterprise Adviser at Bradford Academy, took eight pupils on a tour of their Leeds HQ as the top prize in a STEM competition.

The contest saw the Year 8 pupils pitch their ideas to use smart speaker technology for the benefit of the retailer and its customers to a panel from Asda.

One of the winning teams proposed a smart speaker that synchronises a family’s weekly meal plan with the weekly shop and creates a shopping list of ingredients. The other suggested one that would attach to a shopping trolley and act like a satnav to find products. It would also scan barcodes to tot up the cost.

Staff from Asda have also run presentations about careers in technology and mock job interviews at Bradford Academy.

Jonathan Galluci, project manager from Asda Technology and Enterprise Adviser with Bradford Academy, said:

“It’s really important for us to have the next generation coming through with STEM skills, and for young people to consider careers in technology.

And for this competition it was really good to see it was mainly girls taking part, which reflects our experiences in technology at Asda.

It’s very rewarding to work with schools and young people and to have regular contact. I go to the school and see the same young people, which means more meaningful interaction and means they are more likely to engage with employers. And I also always go back to my day job feeling more energised.”

Samantha Taylor, progressions manager at Bradford Academy, said:

“We were able to challenge the stereotypes and typical thinking by dispelling the myths that ASDA (and other similar organisations) only employed checkout operators and shelf stackers.

The workshops ASDA delivered demonstrate within classrooms the opportunities available for learners, raising their aspirations.  Many learners have since said they would now consider a career within ASDA and know what they need to do to achieve this.”

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