Industry and academia partner up to inspire young people into STEM

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Six schools from the borough of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) have signed up to Northern Ireland’s first locally funded Enthuse Partnership. Part of ABC Council’s Life & Health Sciences Strategy, the new initiative will work towards inspiring young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and careers Pictured front from left: Maxine Williamson, Southern Health & Social Care Trust; Michelle McKee, CIDO; Head of Economic Development, Nicola Wilson; Lord Mayor, Councillor Julie Flaherty; Chair of Economic Development and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Paul Greenfield; Dr Gillian Humes, STEM Learning NI and Marion Laverty, ABPI. Back from left: Asha Jamil, Southern Regional College; Derek Gamble, Dromore High School; Dara Morgan, New-Bridge Integrated College, Lyn Graham, St Ronan’s College; Kate Quinn, St Patrick’s Grammar School, Arlene Smiton, City of Armagh High School and Sarah Jane Macdonald, Armagh and Economic Development Officer.

Six schools from the borough of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) have signed up to Northern Ireland’s first locally funded Enthuse Partnership.

Funded by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation (CIDO), Healthcare Analytics, Perspective Economics, and Southern Health & Social Care Trust, the partnership forms part of ABC Council’s Life & Health Sciences Strategy, which outlines council’s commitment to work collaboratively with the sector in order to maximise economic opportunities across the borough.

Local schools, City of Armagh High School, Dromore High School, New-Bridge Integrated College, St. Patrick’s Grammar, St Ronan’s College, and Southern Regional College have all signed up to the partnership, which will ultimately help inspire young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and careers.

By bringing industry and schools together, the partnership will develop an action plan for the next two years focusing on continuous professional development for teachers, consisting of free resources, immersive industry and university placements as well as the creation of STEM ambassadors and clubs. This will help enhance and improve local students’ achievement and engagement in STEM subjects and also increase visibility of STEM employers in the borough.
Welcoming the Enthuse Partnership in the borough, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Julie Flaherty commented,

“With a significant shortfall of skilled workers within the STEM sector and an expected increase in new STEM roles over the next ten years, businesses within the sector – locally and nationally – are struggling to recruit the right people with the right skills.

“Addressing this skills gap is so important to ensure the long-term stability of this sector and economy, which is why I am delighted to see the establishment of this Enthuse Partnership in our borough. This partnership will work towards positively impacting young people’s interest, engagement and attainment in STEM subjects to ultimately help build and sustain the STEM pipeline locally and beyond.”

To find out more about the Enthuse Partnership and the Life & Health Science Strategy please visit armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk.