£500,000 boost to digital skills training

£500,000 boost to digital skills training
Around 18,000 young people from across Lancashire will benefit from a £500,000 investment from BAE Systems over the next three years

Each school which takes part in the programme gets access to the very latest industry-standard equipment and expertise. They are provided with their own 3D printer and interactive training workshops for staff and students by CREATE Education.

Since the programme started, more than 100 teachers from 52 Lancashire secondary schools have received training in the use of the printers and associated technology. They have also had support to embed learning into their school’s curriculum.

As a result, more than 2,500 Year 8 students have so far been given the opportunity to take part in interactive, hands-on workshops and develop their STEM and digital skills by designing and producing a 3D printed product.

“As a major employer in Lancashire, we believe we have an important role to play inspiring the future generation and highlighting the breadth of exciting careers opportunities available to young people who have an interest in STEM. 3D printing is playing an increasingly important role in manufacturing and the partnership has been an excellent way to reach and engage with more young people from across the county, teaching the critical skills industry needs for the future and stimulating their interest in STEM based careers.”

Cliff Robson, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Air sector

Thanks to the success of the programme and the commitment to extend the partnership, an extra 9,000 primary school students from around 100 schools across the region will now have the opportunity to take part, this will double the number of Year 8 pupils the programme aims to reach to 18,000 overall.

“It’s our mission to provide access to this inspirational additive manufacturing technology allowing young people the chance to learn and develop the necessary skills needed for the future. This project wouldn’t have been possible without the support from BAE Systems and we’re delighted to have been able to work with more than 50 schools so far. We’re hugely excited by the opportunity that further investment from BAE Systems will provide.”

Paul Croft, Founder and Director at CREATE Education

Student using 3D design software

To help put these newfound skills and knowledge to the test, all the schools which participated in the programme were invited to take part in a challenge. Students were asked to design a prototype product (or a part for a product) that will either help improve the environment in or around a local waterway; or improve the habitat for one or more species of local wildlife.

Of the challenges Paul said: Speech marks

It’s been a joy to watch students develop their knowledge and interest in this area and our team has been delighted to play a part in helping to inspire Lancashire’s potential future digital workforce. Sustainability is important to ourselves and BAE Systems and we’re keen to show young people that their new skill set can be a benefit to the environment too.”