At a launch event on 21st October, they outlined the Regional Colleges commitment to developing a strong STEM talent pipeline for learners of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
Hosted by City of Glasgow College at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, guests enjoyed keynote speeches from Annabel Ewing, Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment; and Professor Medhat, founder of New Engineering Foundation: The Innovation Institute, a leading provider of SciTech innovation and growth services to business, education and government.
City of Glasgow College Principal, Paul Little, said: “Our colleges are vital in delivering links between school education and the expertise of industry. We are all committed to implementing this strategy which promotes the real benefits that STEM subjects can bring to Scotland’s young workforce and the future economy of this region. At City of Glasgow College we have shown just how important investment in STEM education is. Our stunning new Riverside Campus represents the first stage of our commitment to becoming Scotland’s STEM centre of Excellence.”
The main aims of the Glasgow Regional Strategy are to:
- Align the STEM provisions to strengthen and create capacity in key areas of economic importance
- Address weaknesses or gaps in provisions to meet employer and student needs
- Create the conditions for collaborative working to optimise both the collective offer and resources
- Foster innovation in STEM education thus enriching the student journey
- Maximise progresssion opportunities for students into higher education and employment
Minister for Youth Employment, Annabelle Ewing, said: “By bringing the New Engineering Foundation on board to develop this ambitious, overarching strategy, Glasgow’s colleges are showing their real commitment to Glasgow and Scotland’s industries and economy, as well as their students and staff. The strategy lays out how important issues will be addressed to continue our great legacy in science, technology, engineering and maths – issues such as skills shortages, gender equality and using a range of different ways to attract sustainable numbers of students into these areas. This builds on an already impressive track record that has seen the trio of Glasgow colleges join up with employers to develop courses and offer facilities that prepare students to go into skilled, in demand jobs, capable of using the most up to date technology and with talents to build a successful career.”
Glasgow Clyde College’s Depute Principal, Eleanor Harris believes: “That a long-term partnership approach between colleges, schools and employers will help widen access, address gender imbalance and inspire all young people to gain the STEM related skills needed to make meaningful choices for their future careers. Glasgow Clyde College will sdeliver high quality learning and teaching to produce work-ready, enterprising and digitally fluent students and will maximise progression opportunities for students into higher education and employment. I strongly welcome Glasgow’s regional STEM strategy.”
Alan Sherry, Glasgow Kelvin College: “With a well-established reputation as a key provider of high-quality learning and skills in STEM related subjects, Glasgow Kelvin College is committed to working with our sister colleges, with NEF and our employer stakeholders, both old and new, to deliver the skills required by a growing economy. Our effective partnership working will ensure that employers’ expanding skills needs are addressed and, by widening access to qualifications and employability skills, we will prepare the region’s young people for a successful and sustainable career. We look forward to working together to create tomorrow’s scientific and technological innovators.”
Martin Fairbairn, Interim Chief Officer of the Glasgow Colleges’ Regional Board, said: “The Glasgow STEM strategy is an excellent example of positive collaboration between the three Glasgow colleges and the Glasgow Colleges’ Regional Board. Development of skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is vital for the economy of Glasgow and Scotland. Recognising that importance, our plans for this year and next provide for a 12% growth in energy, engineering, construction and manufacturing provision. GCRB is delighted to endorse the Glasgow STEM Strategy”.
Professor Sa’ad Medhat, CEO of NEF: The Innovation Institute said: “Aligning educational provision to employer needs is crucial if we are to generate sustained economic growth. Glasgow’s further education colleges recognised the opportunity for a collaborative approach to developing a joint strategy that creates a new technical and scientific capability to underpin areas of economic growth and strengthen employer participation.
“NEF: The Innovation Institute played an instrumental role in developing the competitive positioning and assuring the STEM provision by the three further education colleges in Glasgow, making it a UK first in adopting this city-wide collaborative approach to STEM skills development. We received an overwhelmingly positive response from a diverse range of employers that participated in the accreditation process commending the colleges’ innovative approach that will serve their businesses and the community at large.”
Laurence Howells, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are crucial Scotland’s economic growth and people employed in STEM fields enjoy low unemployment, prosperity and career flexibility. This strategy is ground-breaking and incredibly important for people looking to Glasgow’s colleges to help them start and progress in 21st century careers. It’s fantastic to see the three colleges work together so brilliantly to put the Glasgow region in a strong position for the future.”