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EPCA’s Education Session featured the Finals of the European Youth Debating Competition (organised by EPCA in cooperation with PlasticsEurope), where the future generation of leaders, thirty young people from across Europe, debated the topic “Living, learning, working and moving in Smart Cities of the future: with or without plastics and petrochemicals?”. The five top winners were awarded during the official closing ceremony of the 52nd EPCA Annual Meeting and are seen here together with from left to right: Karl-H. Foerster, Executive Director, PlasticsEurope; Professor Steven Chu, Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist; Caroline Ciuciu, EPCA CEO; Nadine Dereza, Award winning journalist and moderator; and Marc Schuller, EPCA President, Executive Vice-President, Arkema France.

In 2018, Members of the YETT (Young EPCA Think Tank) were actively fostering the relationship between the Petrochemical industry and the educational sector. EPCA organised in cooperation with STEM Alliance two online webinars with teachers, career counsellors, head masters and two online chat discussions with pupils on jobs related to STEM education, Engineer and Chemistry career opportunities in the Petrochemical industry. Two company representatives, who have participated most recently, agreed to share their experience:

Petra Vanderstraeten - Senior Technology Manager (EMEA), Huntsman
I really enjoyed the Webinar, it gave me the opportunity to show how Chemistry and Science are involved in our daily lives. I believe it is important, when teaching STEM subjects, to relate these topics to daily life situations, so students can connect to this because I noticed that teachers find it difficult to promote Chemistry as an attractive career path. From that point of view, I think it is good that people like me can talk about their education and their career in the Petrochemical industry to show the audience how versatile a job in chemistry can be.  It also makes students realise the wide range of markets you can get a profession in when choosing a STEM education.
Daniel Bowes - Regional Talent Acquisition Manager (EMEA), Huntsman
The webinar was very well organised and had a high level of attendance. I believe it was a good format for us to “promote” our company and the industry.
EPCA is grateful to the representatives of Huntsman, INEOS, LyondellBasell, Repsol, SABIC and Total Petrochemicals and Refining who enabled this year’s webinars and chat discussions’ program that was set up in cooperation with STEM Alliance. EPCA regards it as key to carry on with activities that reinforce the industry – educational sector collaboration. If you would be interested to send a representative of your organisation to take part in webinars and chats with the education world, we invite you to contact: