How do we encourage younger people to become radio amateurs or hams in UK?

Visitors to Hamzilla 2023

There are several ways to encourage younger people to become radio amateurs or “hams” in the UK. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Introduce them to the hobby: If you are a radio amateur, introduce younger people in your family or community to the hobby. Show them how radios work, what you can do with them, and the benefits of being a ham.
  2. Attend ham radio events: Encourage younger people to attend ham radio events and conferences, such as the National Hamfest, the RSGB Convention, and the Ham Radio World event. This will give them an opportunity to see first-hand what ham radio is all about and meet other hams.
  3. Collaborate with schools: Work with schools in your area to introduce ham radio to their students. Offer to give presentations or demonstrations, or even set up a radio club at the school.
  4. Use social media: Use social media to promote the hobby and connect with younger people who may be interested in becoming hams. Share photos and videos of your radio activities, participate in online discussions and forums, and use hashtags to increase visibility.
  5. Emphasize the STEM aspect: Highlight the scientific and technical aspects of ham radio, emphasizing the STEM skills that can be developed through the hobby. Many young people may be interested in ham radio as a way to explore their interest in technology and engineering.
  6. Offer mentorship: Offer to mentor younger people who are interested in becoming hams. Provide guidance, support, and encouragement as they learn about the hobby and work towards obtaining their license.

Overall, it’s important to emphasize the fun and excitement of ham radio, while also highlighting the practical skills and STEM education that can be gained through the hobby. By making the hobby accessible and engaging, we can encourage more young people to become radio amateurs in the UK.

That is all very well in theory. The other day a new full licensee asked on-line for suggestions for joining a local club. Of course, I pointed him in the right direction, but it highlighted that new recruits do not come as they used to with a history of “short wave listening” as most of we old-timers did. CB was another route, but also has had its day as a source of radio amateurs.

Yes, take our young relatives and friends to radio rallies. There is always plenty to enjoy, not all radio-related, but maybe the radio can rub off on them. Would they come to club field days and see radio amateurs operating and try it themselves? The mentorship could follow. My best mentor was after I had my first licence, but I could have done with one before getting my ticket.

Should the RSGB target schoolteachers in science and technology? Send letters to schools! AMSAT has done a good job in connecting schools to the International Space Station.

What do you suggest?

Similar proactive promotion from the RSGB or the radio clubs themselves would definitely help.

Use social media. Well, I do. Do you?

Any other suggestions?


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