REGIONAL leaders, employers and teachers have applauded the new STEM strategy launched by Havering College.
The college in Hornchurch, Greater London, has unveiled its STEM manifesto which sets out the commitment to developing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics throughout the college.
Professor Sa'ad Medhat from NEF: The Innovation Institute has assisted with the development of the manifesto which pledges to establish a Havering Innovation in Science, Engineering and Technology Hub (Hi-SET Hub).
The Hi-SET HUB will work with businesses to encourage real life problem based learning. All Havering College students will be encouraged to strengthen their skills in Mathematics, Science, IT and Engineering through their courses, enrichment opportunities or the Hub.
Havering College Principal Maria Thompson said: "Havering College is committed to helping employers and workforce in our region to meet the skills needs of the future that are vital in driving regeneration and prosperity. Much of the growth in jobs will be driven by the need for skills, knowledge and experience in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
"These are disciplines which are increasingly in demand across a wide range of occupations and sectors, and as a college we have a major role to play in ensuring that we are providing a seed-bed of opportunity for learners in these key subject areas."
The strategy has highlighted "clusters" - priority areas which highlight particular strengths of the college. New courses and career pathways will be developed in: Design and Digital Media; Engineering, Transport and Logistics; Sustainable Construction and Environmental Technologies, and Health and Wellness.
Speaking at the launch of the STEM manifesto at the college's Careers & Ideas Show, Professor Medhat said: "This is a key milestone for Havering College. We have identified new clusters of technologies, scientific areas and engineering areas that reflect the needs of business and industry. The new clusters will also provide students with a great opportunity to register on fabulous new programmes. What is different about Havering College is that it provides the technical skills and the professional skills that companies are looking for but also develops the capability of the person him or herself."
Key employers joined the Deputy Mayor of Havering, Cllr Barbara Matthews and the Mayor of Brentwood, Cllr Vicky Davies, in signing the STEM manifesto banner.
Crossrail Employability and Brokerage manager Chris Dransfield said: "Recent construction industry forecasts indicate that the sector needs to recruit an additional 200,000 workers by 2019. Ensuring that skills training organisations provide young people with the right skills, knowledge, attitude and understanding is an essential element of meeting this demand and bringing forward the next generation of construction workers. I fully support Havering College's focus on STEM and providing young people with the ability to seize these opportunities."