Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany’s STEM scheme to ben­e­fit Year Nine pupils

The Wokingham Paper - - EDUCATION - By JOHNWAKEFI­ELD news@wok­ing­ham­pa­

SEC­ONDARY schools across the bor­ough are ben­e­fit­ting from a new part­ner­ship from a lo­cal phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany.

Boehringer In­gel­heim has teamed up with STEMLearn­ing, the UK's largest provider of ed­u­ca­tion and ca­reers sup­port in STEM, with the aim of help­ing nur­ture tal­ent and se­cur­ing greater lev­els of par­tic­i­pa­tion in STEM­sub­jects into fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion.

The be­spoke pro­gramme fea­tures nine ini­tia­tives aimed at sup­port­ing Year Nine stu­dents.

Boehringer In­gel­heim says that this is a piv­otal stage for stu­dents’ aca­demic and ca­reer pro­gres­sion.

So to help, it is launch­ing a ca­reers lab to sup­port pupils to de­velop key skills in the STEM sec­tor, cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­nect and share their as­pi­ra­tions with men­tors within the in­dus­try, and ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar clubs in­clud­ing in­ter­ac­tive ac­tiv­i­ties and com­pe­ti­tions.

Pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment work­shops and, when so­cial dis­tanc­ing per­mits, an im­mer­sive in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence day­will be or­gan­ised for teach­ers, and par­ents will be of­fered the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend tai­lor-made ses­sions to help them un­der­stand the im­por­tance of STEM­sub­jects and build their chil­dren’s con­fi­dence in this area.

Re­search sug­gests that nearly 30% of jobs in Berk­shire are in the STEM­sec­tor and, through th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties, Boehringer In­gel­heim says it aims to nur­ture stu­dents’ ed­u­ca­tional de­vel­op­ment and sup­port the lo­cal tal­ent pool.

Uday Bose, coun­try­manag­ing di­rec­tor for UK and Ire­land at Boehringer In­gel­heim, said: “As a fam­ily-owned com­pany, we al­ways have one eye on the next gen­er­a­tion.

“We are de­lighted to an­nounce our part­ner­ship with STEM Learn­ing to sup­port young peo­ple, teach­ers and schools in cham­pi­oning STEMe­d­u­ca­tion.

“Sus­tain­abil­ity is one of our core val­ues as a busi­ness, and we are plan­ning for the long term by sup­port­ing ini­tia­tives that will in­spire more stu­dents to pur­sue STEM­sub­jects into fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion to de­liver against un­met needs in our sec­tor and be­yond.”

They added: “In the UK, and closer to home in Berk­shire, there is a di­verse range of amaz­ing

op­por­tu­ni­ties and ca­reers avail­able in the STEM­sec­tor for young peo­ple.

“We be­lieve it is cru­cial that schools and em­ploy­ers work to­gether to ex­plore th­ese pos­si­bil­i­ties and mo­ti­vate stu­dents, so we can sup­port their de­vel­op­ment and help them make in­formed de­ci­sions about their fu­ture.

“Wouldn’t it be won­der­ful if this ini­tia­tive helped to de­velop the next Stephen Hawk­ing or Ros­alind Franklin.”

The news has been wel­comed by Dr Ajay Shar­man, the re­gional net­work lead South East at STEM Learn­ing UK. They said that the aim was cre­ate a world-lead­ing STEM ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem for all young peo­ple across the UK.

“We know that in­creas­ing time pres­sures, a lack of re­sources and teach­ers’ own con­fi­dence can present bar­ri­ers to en­gag­ing stu­dents in STEM, pre­vent­ing them from real­is­ing their true po­ten­tial,” they con­tin­ued.

“The part­ner­ship with Boehringer In­gel­heimwill en­able us to pro­vide teach­ers with a range of valu­able re­sources and tools to draw upon in their teach­ing, which will make a real dif­fer­ence to both stu­dents’ and teach­ers’ ex­pe­ri­ences of STEMe­d­u­ca­tion.”

And AlisonWeb­ster, chief ex­ec­u­tive at Thames Val­ley Berk­shire Lo­cal En­ter­prise Part­ner­ship, added: “Com­pared to the rest of the UK, Berk­shire has a higher than av­er­age con­cen­tra­tion of com­pa­nies in life sciences and health­care. Our area also has a younger pop­u­la­tion and labour mar­ket com­pared to the UK av­er­age, and there are greater vol­umes of young peo­ple en­ter­ing the job mar­ket over the next five years.

“With the STEM­sec­tor­mak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to our lo­cal econ­o­mywe can see that there is a per­fect op­por­tu­nity pre­sented for our young peo­ple and we fully sup­port Boehringer In­gel­heim and STEMLearn­ing’s part­ner­ship to en­rich stu­dent’s learn­ing in this area.”

The nine schools that will ben­e­fit from the scheme are: The Bul­mer­she School, Garth Hill Col­lege, Bo­hunt School, Easthamp­stead Park Com­mu­nity School, St Crispin’s School, The Holt School, The Emm­brook School, The For­est School and The Green Room School in­Wind­sor.

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