Transforming STEM delivery
Offshore wind developers take the lead to transform STEM delivery in education in the East
Offshore energy industry titans Dudgeon Offshore Windfarm, ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall have joined forces with the University of East Anglia, Nautilus Associates and local charity, The Bridge Trust to form the STEM Coordination Hub.
In a highly innovative and game-changing approach they are developing a solution to improve the learning experience and create new career opportunities for young people in Norfolk and Suffolk.
An increasingly fragmented STEM education landscape is contributing to a crisis in the talent pipeline, affecting not just offshore wind but almost all sectors. This industry-funded programme brings together employers with education and academia to transform the STEM provision in Norfolk and Suffolk, directly impacting the future workforce in the East of England.
The STEM Coordination Hub will initially be piloted in parts of Norfolk and Suffolk, counties that are already a hub for engineering and technology supporting the energy sector. It aims to make the most of what is already there, identify and plug the gaps and find new ways to enhance STEM education.
Over half of the UK’s offshore wind industry is located off the coast of Norfolk and Suffolk, with a development pipeline that could see more than 15GW developed over the next decade, or half of the industry’s vision to deliver 30GW by 2030 up from 7.5GW today. The region has also been identified as one of the UK’s leading energy clusters when Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, was in Lowestoft recently launching the new national Offshore Wind Sector Deal.
Supply chain employment
The sector supports thousands of high-skilled jobs across the supply chain, generating billions in revenue, but an increased supply of STEM skills is crucial in other key sectors in the region such as nuclear, civil engineering, agri-tech, finance, life sciences and digital creative industries.
The project takes a game-changing approach to the problem by integrating industry itself into the solution. Businesses will have the opportunity to directly influence the conversation driving STEM delivery in education.
Power plant manager
Sonja Chirico Indrebø is the Power Plant Manager of the Dudgeon Offshore Windfarm, which is operated and part-owned by Equinor. As one of the first female Power Plant Managers in the UK offshore wind energy industry, she commented: “I believe we all have a duty to be role models for future generations and by strengthening the delivery of STEM skills, the Stem Hub will help inspire today’s young people to become tomorrow’s scientists, engineers and inventors.”
STEM Coordination Hub