Denmark's offshore wind giant Ørsted A/S has unveiled more than £50k for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills across Lancashire and Cumbria.
The renewable energy developer says the wave of new finance will be sourced from the Walney Extension Skills Fund.
An award of nearly £40,000 goes to STEM Learning Ltd to develop two ENTHUSE Partnership projects in Cumbria and Lancaster. Each Partnership project will bring together eight schools and colleges from within the eligible funding area, to develop a two-year intensive improvement program to raise achievement and aspiration in STEM subjects.
Fran Dainty, Head of STEM Expertise, said: "We are delighted that this funding from Ørsted will enable STEM Learning to work with local schools to give their pupils a world-leading science, technology, engineering and maths education. Through excellent STEM teaching and by building awareness of STEM careers and the opportunities they offer, we can improve the life chances of some of the most vulnerable young people in the Cumbria and Lancashire area."
The second award of £14,000 has been granted to the Science Learning Partnership to support the introduction and running of a STEM project for 11 schools that make up the Furness Education Consortium. Over 600 pupils will be encouraged to work on a project and prepare for an interschool competition which involves students using the key employability skills supported by STEM.
Sarah Connon, Regional Development Lead of the Science Learning Partnership, said: “I am excited to be able to use this funding to provide interactive resources and training for teachers, STEM ambassadors, local employers and students enabling them to work together as a community to upskill our next workforce generation. The focus of the activities will be based on local market information which will support both teachers and students in understanding next steps to successful employment.”
Each year, Ørsted provides approximately £600,000 of funding for skills and community projects for the expected 25-year lifetime of the Walney Extension development, which is one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms.
Imran Nawaz, Ørsted’s Stakeholder Advisor, said: “The growth of the offshore wind industry in the UK is creating fantastic career opportunities for local people on their own doorsteps. Through initiatives like our Skills Funds, we aim to provide access to the skills and training needed to take advantage of these opportunities.”