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EU boost for young Welsh scientists

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

The Welsh Government has announced a £1.7m EU funding boost to help increase the number of young engineers, scientists, technologists, and mathematicians in the Welsh workforce.
Thursday 24 September 2015

Led by the Engineering Education Scheme in Wales (EESW), the £2m STEM CYMRU II project will provide an exciting range of engineering-themed activities to thousands of young people in West Wales, the Valleys and North West Wales.

It will encourage nearly 5,000 young people aged between 11-19 years to study STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and maths), helping to improve qualifications, skills and career prospects.

Finance Minister Jane Hutt announced the investment from the European Social Fund whilst on a visit to the Sony factory in Bridgend.

The Minister was there to see how a group of young people from Cynnfig Comprehensive School have been involved in helping the company to develop a packing solution for the Raspberry Pi which comes off the production line at rapid speed.

The solution has since been implemented at the factory, resulting in efficiency savings.

Finance Minister Jane Hutt said:

“I am delighted that this EU investment will help young people to become involved in a dynamic range of activities in industry. It will help them to gain new skills and excel in STEM subjects so they can achieve successful careers. This is another excellent example of how EU funds are benefiting Wales.”

Education Minister Huw Lewis said:

“Science, maths and digital technology are playing an increasingly important role in the lives of children and young people.

“We want to spread the message that STEM subjects are interesting and useful, directly relevant to many jobs and industries, and can pave the way to a stimulating and financially rewarding career.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to secure additional EU funding to help communicate this message and drive up participation in and enthusiasm for these important STEM subjects.”

STEM CYMRU II will build on its predecessor project with a focus on increasing the number of participants who will continue to study a STEM subject post-16 and encouraging young women to progress into engineering. It will support a range of initiatives, including skill-building activities which target key skills required by employers.

There will also be industrial mentors so young people can develop practical solutions to challenges faced by host companies in the advanced manufacturing sector. Skills and experience gained will be recorded in a STEM passport which can be included on CVs.

Welcoming the funding, EESW Chief Executive Bob Cater said:

“Securing this EU funding through the Welsh Government is crucial in allowing us to offer pupils a comprehensive programme of activities that will improve uptake in science, technology, engineering and maths.

“Improving participation and attainment levels in these subjects will boost the prospects of young people across Wales and widen access to careers in STEM-related industries.”

Gerald Kelly, Director at Sony UKTec, said:

“Here at Sony UKTec we believe it vital to take responsibility for promoting STEM related subjects, engaging a generation to reap the rewards from navigating a career encompassed by Technology and Engineering.

“Since the early 1970’s Sony operations have thrived in South Wales due to its innovative and creative localised expertise. The development of STEM skills is essential for the UK to continually and successfully contribute on a global stage.”



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