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Future workforce for Oceansgate

27 Jul 2016

Across the south west, the manufacturing, marine and engineering sectors provide careers and apprenticeships that are more rewarding and better paid.

The Futureworks Marine and Manufacturing Challenge Fund is a £250,000 City Deal programme that aims to challenge many of the misconceptions surrounding Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and encourage young people to look again at the advantages taking STEM subjects can give them.

Working with local companies and their neighbouring schools, the scheme provides opportunities for young people to see how STEM subjects prepare them for the working world in their area and beyond – from design to manufacture and including site visits, teacher opportunities and a range of other challenges and activities.

An enormous amount of activity has already taken place through the initiative; a Design Technology teacher from Plymouth’s Notre Dame Girl’s School spent an entire week in Pipex px as part of a twinning agreement which was brokered by the Plymouth Manufacturers Group. The teacher spent the week learning about every aspect of how the business operates from development to the creation of the final product.

A portable laser cutter, procured by Torbay Development Agency as part of their activity, has been making its way around secondary schools in the Torbay area enabling young people to experience using industry standard equipment within their day to day learning. The laser cutter has also been showcased at skills fair events, with demonstrations being delivered by the young people themselves.

This is just a small representation of the activities that are being delivered under the Futureworks banner. To date, more than 12,000 young people have been engaged through the different activities that are taking place. There is still a lot of work to do in addressing the potential skills gap faced by the marine and manufacturing sectors but it is hoped that through the Futureworks initiative many young people will be encouraged to explore careers in these industries.


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