National Grid launches STEM skills and careers programme

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STEM skills, MyKindaFuture, National Grid

More than 100,000 pupils in South London will benefit from the new STEM skills and careers outreach programmes being launched by National Grid in association with MyKindaFuture

According to research carried out by National Grid, the energy sector needs to fill 400,000 roles between now and 2050 to meet net-zero.

This innovative programme aims to support meeting this target, while at the same time giving students in some of London’s most disadvantaged areas greater opportunities to learn about the industry and the range of careers they could pursue.

The programme will be offered to students in years 10-13 as research suggests that disadvantaged students are twice as likely to become NEET (not in education, employment or training) aged 18 than their more affluent peers.

The scheme will reach young people living in the seven boroughs of South London that are impacted by National Grid’s £1bn London Power Tunnels (LPT) project to rewire the capital.

Covid-19 economic effects

The Covid-19 pandemic and its significant impact on schools have meant that underrepresented students need careers to support more than ever; the virus’ economic effects have caused gaps in social mobility to widen, and school closures have led to greater inequalities in accessing educational resources.

Through the peak of the pandemic, just 23% of the most deprived schools had a suitable online platform in place to receive pupils’ work, compared to 60% of private schools.

In light of this, National Grid and MyKindaFuture have adapted the schools’ engagement programme to be largely virtual throughout 2020, with inbuilt flexibility allowing for a pivot to face-to-face, as circumstances allow.

Significantly improving career prospects

Gareth Burden, project director at National Grid, said: “This is an amazing opportunity to empower pupils and give them the skills and information they need to pursue STEM subjects and careers in our industry.

“Thanks to our programme with MyKindaFuture we will help create a pipeline of talent for the hundreds of thousands of jobs we need to fill across the energy industry in order to meet our net-zero targets by 2050.

“We’re rolling out one of the most challenging and interesting engineering projects in South London, giving us the perfect opportunity to enthuse and engage young Londoners.

“And importantly our project will look to significantly improve the career prospects of thousands of young people from some of London’s most disadvantaged areas”.

Will Akerman, founder and managing director at MyKindaFuture, added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with National Grid on such an exciting and important project.

“We are passionate about providing young people with the opportunities that they deserve to succeed in life and are confident that the scheme will prove invaluable for disadvantaged pupils in the area, as well as positively impacting the UK STEM industry.”

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