To secure the future skills base for the UK electronics sector, a multi-billion pound industry that employs over 250,000 people, a series of regional challenges is being established to inspire 12-14 year old (KS3) students to study subjects that equip them for careers in the sector.
The initiative is being developed by leading education charity EDT, in partnership with the UK Electronic Skills Foundation, and forms part of EDT’s Go4SET programme.
Entitled “Our Electronics Environment”, the regional, 10-week Go4SET project will demonstrate the relevance of pursuing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects to careers in electronics. Each participating team of six students and a teacher will be united with an industry mentor, who will empower the students to broaden their skill sets, develop analytical thinking and make informed decisions about the multiple career pathways open to them.
The inaugural UKESF Go4SET project will begin in Autumn 2012 and be open to schools throughout the South West region with the finals taking place in Bristol during Spring 2013. The UKESF Go4SET project will then be rolled out nationally.
Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Plastic Logic and chair of the UKESF Strategic Advisory Board said: “It is of critical importance that our industry engages school students at an early stage. The launch of the UKESF Go4SET electronics project and the first regional challenge gives us a base on which employers throughout our diverse industry can inspire bright young minds to explore careers in electronics. Working with EDT, the UK’s largest provider of extracurricular STEM activities in schools, is an excellent way of highlighting electronics careers to a younger group of students.”
A wide range of companies will be able to take part in the projects as the brief for the Go4SET teams will be broad. Essential features of the project include:
• Developing research skills
• Open-ended challenges
• Creative/innovative thinking
• Practical hands-on electronics
Dr Gordon Mizner, CEO at EDT is excited by the new link saying,
“The relationship with the UKESF is another plank in our strategy of engaging with companies and organisations in a customised way that suits their different objectives. EDT projects like Go4SET, Headstart and EES are very flexible and it is possible to tailor them to meet particular needs. The package we have established with UKESF follows naturally from their initial involvement with Headstart and adds to similarly tailored arrangements that we have with the energy association EIC and major companies such as BP, ARUP and SELEX Galileo.”