Thames Valley tech companies come together to deliver STEM initiative
Local tech companies and institutes including Softcat, Gamma, Westcoast and the Rosalind Franklin Institute have collaborated with the Education Business Partnership (EBP) to create a new initiative called Hi-Tech Horizons. The programme aims to reach and directly engage with 50,000 secondary and college students over a five-year period.
The Thames Valley’s technology industry, often referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’, is one of high growth but currently facing a skills shortage that is having an adverse effect on economic growth. In Berkshire alone, there are around 120,000 Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) jobs, almost twice the national average. In order to future proof the region and sustain its economic growth, an initiative such as this is clearly required.
Launching this Autumn, the EBP will be bringing hi-tech businesses into schools to showcase and educate students on careers they might not have considered or even know exist.
“As the winds of change sweep across our whole country, and the availability of talent from abroad may be restricted, let’s not sit idly by and bemoan the lack of enthusiastic youngsters applying to our companies, which are the best in the world, and where Britain needs to excel and has every opportunity to do so – let’s do something about it.”
Alex Tatham, Managing Director, Westcoast
Not only does this programme highlight the sector and the opportunities within it in a way that is understandable for young people; it also influences their career choices at this critical stage and helps them develop important, relevant work-related skills.
“The skills gap is an issue that constantly arises during our many discussions with members and partners, especially in relation to the technology sector. This initiative is exactly what the region, and the industry needs to encourage students into areas that they are yet to explore. I hope that other tech companies in the Thames Valley also find space to get involved with this initiative.”
Paul Britton, Chief Executive, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce
Read more, HERE.