GREATER Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has awarded £50k funding to a programme designed to help young people across the region continue to be inspired by Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) subjects during the ongoing pandemic.
The STEM Reboot programme is being led by experts at the Science and Industry Museum, who will be working on a number of projects to bridge the STEM skills gap in the city-region and provide a platform to support wider networks of organisations who deliver STEM activity in our region.
As part of the programme STEM Booster Kits will be de distributed by the Science and Industry Museum across all 10 boroughs which will include practical activities designed to ignite the curiosity of young learners aged 7to 14 around some of Greater Manchester’s key STEM industry strengths. The kits will be delivered across Greater Manchester through libraries, community groups, schools and the museum itself.
A key part of the programme will be supporting wider organisations, employers and academic institutions involved in inspiration activities to promote what activity already takes place Greater Manchester. A key partner has already been identified as the Science and Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub (SEERIH) based at The University of Manchester. Manchester Science Festival, taking place 12–21 February 2021, as well as British Science Week, taking place 5–14 March, will provide platforms for a variety of Greater Manchester STEM focussed organisations to work together and raise the profile of the work they do to motivate young people to get involved with STEM subjects.
Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry museum, said: “We are lucky in Greater Manchester to be part of such a rich network of organisations leading the development of STEM skills through schools and other platforms.
We would normally welcome and provide inspiring activities for over 85, 000 schoolchildren a year at our city centre site. Like many organisations we have to find new ways to reach our audiences during the coronavirus pandemic. We know there is a risk we miss the opportunity to keep young people and their families inspired. STEM subjects have been so important to Manchester’s past and are absolutely crucial to our future. We are even more committed than ever to help our young people and communities build confidence in science and develop skills and life chances for everyone.”
Councillor Sean Fielding, GMCA lead for works and skills, said: “Despite the ongoing pandemic, the future of Greater Manchester holds great opportunities for Science Technology Engineering and Maths - from our strong pipeline of construction and infrastructure, to our world leading strengths in advanced manufacturing and materials.
Our STEM sectors remain areas of growth and resilience during this pandemic, with sectors such as digital, as well as health and social care continuing to recruit and grow. This programme is designed to reach young people in all 10 local authority areas and not just in school. We recognise community groups have a valuable part to play in delivering messages to support young people and the people who influence them to remain optimistic about the future, while highlighting STEM skills and career pathways.”
Last year GMCA and the Science and Industry Museum signed an agreement where both organisations committed to launching a joint action plan to help bridge the STEM skills gap and make Greater Manchester is a world leading city for STEM excellence. Both organisations along with many others have been playing a key role in working to address the city’s shortfall in skilled STEM workers, as well as preparing the people of Greater Manchester for an inspiring future ahead.
The Local Industrial Strategy outlines a set of long-term policy priorities to help guide industrial development and provides a plan for good jobs and growth in Greater Manchester. The STEM skills required for growth sectors set out in the strategy include digital and creative, advanced manufacturing and materials, low carbon, health innovation and the underlying infrastructure skills needed to develop the success of these industries.
There will be an employer led approach to identify and increase the pipeline for priority occupations we need now and in the future. The framework will also tackle long-term challenges related to STEM such as negative perceptions and stereotypes, including:
- Priority occupations – Increase the talent pipeline for some specific occupations where we know we need jobs now and in the future.
- Mobilising social value to drive the right STEM engagement from employers – We will support STEM contractors to deliver quality social value, measure their impact and better engage with schools and colleges.
- Making Greater Manchester residents aware of the opportunity – Through engagement with school and non-school settings and communicating the offer to all ages in our communities not just the young.
- Raising the profile of STEM – Ensure all our residents value their STEM skills, knowledge and qualifications and understand our STEM industries offer great places to enter and progress in work.
The project is about partnership and collaboration and if you want to get involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org