STEM hub launched in Norfolk to battle talent crisis

PUBLISHED: 10:28 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:42 20 March 2019

Students attend a workshop  run by Catrin Ellis Jones and Susan Falch-Lovesey of Vattenfall on International Women's Day. Picture:  Julian Claxton and Vattenfall

Students attend a workshop run by Catrin Ellis Jones and Susan Falch-Lovesey of Vattenfall on International Women's Day. Picture: Julian Claxton and Vattenfall

Julian Claxton and Vattenfall

A new STEM subject hub has been launched to combat the talent crisis facing Norfolk’s energy and manufacturing sector.

Offshore energy titans Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm have joined forces with the University of East Anglia, ScottishPower Renewables, Vattenfall, Nautilus Associates and charity The Bridge Trust to launch the STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths – Coordination hub.

The hub’s aim is to develop the learning experience of STEM subjects in the region and encourage more young people to look into STEM-facilitated career paths.

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Sonja Chirico Indrebø is the power plant manager of the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, and is one of the first female power plant managers’ in the UK.

She said: “I believe we all have a duty to be role models for future generations, and by strengthening the delivery of STEM skills, the Stem Hub will help inspire today’s young people to become tomorrow’s scientists, engineers and inventors.”

According to experts the success of this project is vital – both for the region and for the country – with more than half of the UK’s offshore wind industry located off the coast of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Victoria Sinclair of ScottishPower Renewable, said: “The STEM Hub represents a unique opportunity for us to deepen our understanding of what students, teachers and parents would like to know about when it comes to STEM.

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“We believe in a collaborative approach between education and industry when it comes to encouraging young people — particularly girls ­— into STEM subjects and believe the STEM Hub will be a huge step forward in achieving this.”

The hub will offer work experience opportunities and STEM events to students and teachers, as well as signposting STEM resources for educators to use in teaching and career personal development.

Celia Anderson, director of STEM Coordination Hub, said: “STEM is the cornerstone of 21st Century industry. We have a responsibility to ensure the workforce of the future can meet the demands of tomorrow’s industry. This is a partnership of incredible organisations determined to deliver a shared vision: local people with well-paid sustainable STEM-based careers.”

The STEM Coordination Hub will launch formally in May this year and is actively seeking to grow its industry and education partnerships.

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