Sharing ideas in science, technology and innovation

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Millennium Point CEO, Philip Singleton

Millennium Point CEO, Philip Singleton

Millennium Point's impressive atriumMillennium Point is setting out its stall to reinforce its role in the Birmingham city region, to be the place to go – whoever you are – to experience and be exposed to science.

Millennium Point was created as a place to celebrate Science, Technology and Learning. We are keen to add two new, very important concepts to this: Innovation and Design.

These five words describe our footprint as a charity.

Learning is something that is embedded in our society, whether informal, formal, random or planned. I want Millennium Point to be increasingly seen as the place of formal learning via one of our key partners, BCU, or more informally via Thinktank, but to experience the unexpected, the surprising, the engaging and enthralling. We will import the latest technology and expressions of science into our spaces. Our spaces actually are cavernous – an atrium that could host huge scale objects, the Giant Screen which can show, with brilliance and scale, anything you care to dream of and outdoor spaces unparalleled in the city centre.

I want Millennium Point to be the place in Birmingham which showcases the city’s successes and achievements; through incredible creative minds – designing our futures and creating solutions to how we Play, Move, Work and Live.

Innovation is what drives change, responds to economies and their vagaries, excites us and defines the human spirit in seeking out what can be better. It is about delivering to the world new ideas and solutions.

We can fly the flag for Birmingham in exemplifying what is done best here and, as a natural counterpoint, we can import ideas from the globe into Birmingham. The best design and innovation is the exchange of ideas – it is an ebb and flow of things.

So, how will we do all of this? We want to be an active host, exploiting the scale of what we are, to do things demonstrably large. The Giant Screen, as a high quality wholly digital venue for 373 people to view the screen that is the biggest between London and Bradford. Our atrium will show sculptures, and vivid installations.

As Spring approaches, I will be very happy when I see people out in the new Eastside Park to the south of our building, surfing away on the free wifi we have connected.

As Birmingham is a Science City – with great minds already at work here and new minds developing, we want to be the place where you can talk, view, debate, absorb, exchange and take away personal delight from what you see here.

This is our ambition. I am absolutely clear that we will only do it by engaging and working very closely with a number of partners – people and organisations which have amazing ideas and can fulfil their ambitions by joining with us to make the most of what we have.

Philip Singleton
Chief Executive
Millennium Point
Telephone: 0121 202 2201

Mobile is 07976 426 385

Curzon Street
B4 7XG

At the heart of Eastside, Birmingham
The Giant Screen Cinema, stunning digital 2D and 3D projection

Eastside Forum is managed from Millennium Point: Representing organisations
that have a stake now and in the future at Eastside


A thriving knowledge economy needs a workforce that is engaged with science and technology and prepared for the workplace, thus inspiring and guiding young people is critical.  The Career Academy programme aims to raise the aspirations of 16-19 year olds and aims to bridge the gap between education and employment by giving them access to real experience of the world of work.  At Bournville College of Further Education there are  currently six up and running academies, including Science & Engineering and Media, and further academies in planning include ICT.

Each Academy provide a structured, career relevant  programme, providing students with the opportunity to attend work place visits, workshops and Guru Lectures, and to be paired with a Partner in Business (mentor) and undertake a six-week paid (ideally) internship.  The idea is to give students the experience and skills they need to be able to perform more effectively in the wider world.  This is a highly successful programme, running for a number of years, and over that time over 85% of Career Academy students have progressed to university or directly into employment or work based learning such as apprenticeships or school leaver programmes.  The programme is is designed to compliment and enrich each student’s studies as summarised below.

Obviously this level of support needs the input from individuals and businesses that can support and inspire students.  We are seeking to grow our academies at Bournville College by creating new partnerships with employers, in particular our new themes ICT and Art & Design, and we are also looking at ways to evolve our science & engineering academies and further develop our media academy. We are looking for volunteers who might be interested in working with our students whether its providing mentors, as follows:

One-to-one mentoring: Business professionals meet with students and support with classroom learning, understanding of business culture and work place etiquette. They can also support the development of employability skills, CV writing, interview techniques, time management and problem solving.

Internships: Career Academies Internships are offered by employers over the six weeks summer break between the two years of the course. They are real value-adding roles within the working environment and they aim to use the skills gained from the range of inputs on the programme.

Visits & Seminars: These are employer-led and specific to course content and careers. They are wide ranging and include business tours and question and answer sessions with industry professionals.

Guru lectures: These are lectures given by volunteer professionals from industry. They may be subject specific or relevant to real working life.

It is not just the students who benefit from this engagment with the Career Academy programme – employers have reported that engaging with Career Academy students enhances staff development and demonstrates their corporate values.  So perhaps you or your organisation can volunteer and gain some direct advantage at the same time as helping to bridge the education-employment gap for the next generation.

If you are interested or you require any further information please feel free to contact me on or 0121 477 1667.

Kelly Rogers, Career Academy Manager, Bournville College

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