We are working to encourage more young people in the region, particularly young women and those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds and other under-represented groups, to progress towards careers in professional engineering roles or as engineering technicians.
There is a well-documented STEM skills shortage in Northern Ireland, where skills are needed in many fields such as digital, ICT and creative industries, agri-tech and fintech, life and health sciences, and advanced manufacturing and engineering. A major contributing factor to the skills shortage in general is a significant gender imbalance across the STEM skills pipeline.
For participating schools and colleges, the programme will provide:
- up to £3,000 of in-house grants to our network of schools and colleges to purchase resources and provide experiences for students that will enhance the ‘E’ in STEM, and to celebrate national events such as Tomorrow’s Engineers Week and NI Science Festival
- STEM Challenge Days for students to excite, inspire, and stimulate interest
- access to a peer-to-peer support network for our STEM teachers, providing the opportunity to share resources and best practice
- teacher CPD and Academy educational resources to introduce students to real-world engineering
- 30 Further Education bursaries, each worth £2,000, to incentivise post-16 STEM study among women from low-income households
- 8 Higher Education bursaries, each worth £15,000, to support women students who will study engineering or related subjects at a UK university
- industry collaboration to share best practice and engender a supportive, sustainable network
We are providing this support to a network of schools and colleges across Northern Ireland, which have been identified working closely with the NI Department for the Economy.
The aim is to create a collaborative culture of engineering across the local community. This will allow young people to access a continuum of STEM experiences that raise aspirations and enrich the curriculum throughout the whole of their education, from primary school to sixth form and beyond.
By linking this network to locally-based STEM employers, universities and other stakeholders, we will raise students’ skills levels and provide links to real-world engineering, thus enhancing their knowledge of engineering careers and the pathways available to them.
Schools and colleges currently involved with the programme:
- Abbey Community College, Newtownabbey
- Ballymacrickett Primary School, Crumlin
- Belfast Model School for Girls, Belfast
- Blessed Trinity College, Belfast
- Drumragh Integrated College, Omagh
- Enniskillen Integrated Primary School, Enniskillen
- Erne Integrated College, Enniskillen
- Glengormley High School, Newtownabbey
- Lismore Comprehensive, Craigavon
- Our Lady's Grammar School, Newry
- Omagh High School, Omagh
- Omagh County Primary School, Omagh
- St Colmans High School, Ballynahinch
- St Mark's High School, Newry
- St Ronan's College, Craigavon
- St Teresa's Primary School, Lurgan
- St Anthony’s Primary School, Craigavon
- St Brendan’s Primary School, Craigavon
- St Joseph’s Convent Primary School, Newry
- St Patrick’s Nursery & Primary School, Newry
- St Patrick’s Primary Schools, Mullanaskea
- South West College
- South Eastern Regional College
The list of participating schools and colleges will be updated on an ongoing basis as they come on board.
This programme was launched in Spring 2022, in partnership with the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland.