STEM businesses and organisations provided female pupils with a practical insight into the skills required for modern STEM careers.
More than 100 female pupils from Darlington secondary schools attended the joint Foundation for Jobs/Darlington College Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) event on Friday June 15.
The event, hosted by Darlington College, gave pupils the chance to meet engineers, scientists and STEM specialists, many of them female, and take part in practical activities, delivered by the companies, aimed at demonstrating the wide range of roles in the sector.
They were able to try out a variety of practical tasks involving bioscience, coding, construction, smart materials and engineering skills at the event hosted by Darlington College, a partner in the project.
Organisations taking part included the CPI’s National Biologics Manufacturing Centre, 3M, the Institute of Physics, Hitachi Rail, Durham University’s Ogden Trust, Wates Construction and Darlington College.
A Foundation for Jobs spokesperson said: “Despite great progress in recent years there are still far fewer women than men accessing careers in engineering and STEM related disciplines, so this event demonstrated to young women the opportunities that exist in this challenging and varied employment sector.
“We have had great feedback from the schools and businesses, which both felt the event was very worthwhile and helped address some of the misconceptions around STEM careers.
“We would like to thank all the companies who gave up their time to take part, with all of them very keen to inspire the next generation.”
Foundation for Jobs is a joint initiative involving Darlington Borough Council, schools, colleges and the Darlington Partnership of private firms and public sector organisations, which has also enjoyed support from businesses and industrialists across the whole North-East region.
It receives funding from The Careers & Enterprise Company and has worked with more than 8,000 young people in Darlington since it was launched in 2012.
Its overall aim is to reduce youth unemployment by matching young people’s aspirations with those sectors which are vital to the North-East’s economy but which many young people are not pursuing because of incorrect perceptions of the type of work involved.
For details on Foundation for Jobs contact programme manager Owen McAteer at email@example.com or visit www.foundationforjobs.co.uk