The Get into STEM programme was delivered by Esh Group, the main contractor delivering the first phase of the 150-hectare, £400m International Advance Manufacturing Park (IAMP), at East Boldon Infants School.
Organised by Invest South Tyneside, the sector development and business investment team within South Tyneside Council, the programme saw the Durham-based construction firm deliver a series of interactive educational sessions for children in year one and two.
Each session introduced pupils to an array of STEM career opportunities at IAMP, from civil engineering to construction, through interactive activities and role play.
IAMP will be a high-quality strategic employment site supporting a predicted 7,000 jobs across the advanced manufacturing sector within companies that will benefit from being located in the heart of the North East and from the infrastructure and skilled workforce that exists in the region.
Cllr Moira Smith, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “This programme provides children with a valuable insight into the type of work that they may well find themselves doing in the future.
“Engaging with them in a fun, interactive way like this helps creates enthusiasm for learning these subjects and skills.”
Lisa Holt, Head Teacher of East Boldon Infants School, said: “Working with Esh has provided a fantastic experience for our children and has given them an introduction to STEM in a fun, motivating way.”
Laura Bains, who coordinates social value on the IAMP scheme for Esh Construction, said: “We are passionate about developing the workforce of the future and recognise the importance of inspiring the next generation by introducing them to STEM careers early in the education process. Our STEM ‘kits’ contain fun and educational resources which are commonly used in construction and have been designed to align with the national curriculum for Early Years Foundation Studies and Key Stage One helping teachers deliver learning and development outcomes’.”
The IAMP development seeks to expand upon the existing North East manufacturing hub to enable a step change in South Tyneside and Sunderland’s economic growth and continued strong local track record of high quality, adaptable manufacturing.
A key part of accelerating economic growth is creating the conditions for private sector investment – supporting the ability of companies to trade on a national and international basis, ensuring the mobility and supply of local labour and a local supply chain, and making suitable land available for economic growth.
Working with Esh Group through the Get into STEM programme is a fantastic way to raise children’s aspirations and awareness of the future career opportunities at IAMP.
“We hope the programme will stimulate learning in science, technology, engineering and maths to create the next generation of skilled trades workers, engineers and technicians in South Tyneside.”